On Wednesday night, the WVU women’s basketball team clinched the No. 2 seed in the Big 12 Conference Tournament with a win over Kansas State, winning, 72-64.
Once again, the Mountaineers were short-handed against KSU, playing players out-of-position.
“I had point guards that have never played the one, I had a four that never played the four, had a five never played the five,” WVU head coach Mike Carey said after the win. “Everybody’s out-of-position but you know what? This is what this team is made of.”
“No matter what happens from here on out, (I’m) very proud of this team,” Carey added.
West Virginia had multiple players that got into foul trouble early, so Carey had to make mid-game adjustments that are out of his system.
“We played two-three (defense) today more than we have in two years. Blessing (Ejiofor) had four fouls in the first half, Kari (Niblack) had three. So, we were short handed,” Carey said.
With less than 40 seconds to go, the Mountaineers were up by five points, struggling to close the door on the Wildcats’ hopes of making a comeback. WVU redshirt senior guard Kysre Gondrezick hit a three-pointer with 26 seconds remaining to put the Mountaineers up by eight. Another clutch shot by Gondrezick was going to be hard to come by, as the Wildcats were double-teaming her, but that didn’t stop her.
“They (Kansas State) weren’t going to let her get a lot of shots, they were playing that zone and two people were on her at all times,” Carey said. “That’s why the inside was open. They were not going to let her have that shot but we went ahead and there at the end, set a pick for Kysre and went a high-low, and she was able to get that shot off and hit a three.”
The win over Kansas State officially secured second place in the Big 12 regular season standings for the Mountaineers. WVU will complete its four-game road trip and the regular season with a trip to Waco, Texas, to take on No. 6 Baylor next Monday. No matter what happens on Monday, both teams will stay in their seedings for the conference tournament.
“Yeah, we want to be competitive, but we definitely don’t want to get anybody hurt. That game doesn’t mean anything for Baylor, doesn’t mean anything for us,” Carey said. “So, I mean, Baylor’s one and we’re two seed no matter what happens during that game. I’m sure Baylor doesn’t want anybody to be hurt. We don’t want to get anybody hurt but, you know, it’ll be competitive because it always is.”