The West Virginia women's basketball team overcame some mistakes in order to defeat Kansas with a 69-61 final on Wednesday night.
The Mountaineers featured four double-digit scorers on the night in order to put them over the top of Kansas. Kysre Gondrezick led with 19 points, Esmery Martinez and Kari Niblack added 17, and Kirsten Deans poured in 11 points as well.
However, the Mountaineers had 17 turnovers that resulted in 17 points for the Jayhawks and kept the game close the whole way.
“Every time we’d get a double-digit lead we’d turn it over two or three times,” West Virginia head coach Mike Carey said. “They were stacking up the middle and we were trying to drive in there and throw it out and we were getting turnovers.”
Despite the result being the team’s 11th straight win, Carey made it clear that his squad still has some work ahead.
“[The streak] is a positive, but you know what, we’ve got to keep getting better,” Carey said. “We’re becoming complacent and we can’t do that. We’ve got to get better every game and today we didn’t get better.”
With the issues West Virginia had keeping the ball, the offense was forced to slow its game plan down and keep the tempo low over the course of the game. This allowed the Mountaineers to control the game and gave Kansas fewer possessions.
The alterations to the offense made for more touches in the paint for the Mountaineers, with Niblack and Martinez being the beneficiaries.
“In the third quarter I slowed them down and got Kari some touches and Esmery some touches inside,” Carey said.
Faltering offense was met with adequate defense for West Virginia, forcing Kansas to shoot 38% from the field. Despite the problems that Carey had with the Mountaineer performance, he made it clear that they will move forward with the same intensity that has gotten them to the No. 19 ranking in the AP poll.
“I told them after the game that I’m proud of them, but we’ve got to get better,” Carey said. “They’re off tomorrow, we’ve got practice Friday and Saturday, and we’ve got to play an Oklahoma team that just beat Iowa State.”
The Mountaineers take on the Sooners on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. from the WVU Coliseum on ESPN+.