As the West Virginia women’s basketball team is dealing with a shortened roster at a crucial time of the season, WVU center Blessing Ejiofor has stepped up to give the team some depth off the bench.
The Mountaineers, over the last couple of weeks, have had to play at some point without K.K. Deans, Madisen Smith and Kysre Gondrezick due to injuries. WVU has been having to play with only seven to eight players during a critical time of the season.
Ejiofor has stepped up off the bench for the Mountaineers over the past two games against Iowa State and Kansas. WVU head coach Mike Carey likes to have competitive players, and Ejiofor fits his system perfectly.
“Blessing is a great, young lady and a great person,” Carey said. “She wants to play more, I guarantee she’s not happy playing in minutes that she’s playing but when she gets in there, she doesn’t pout about it. She gets in there and she works hard and tries to do the right thing. So, you got to give her a lot of credit.”
Ejiofor has spent two seasons on the women’s basketball team, appearing in 49 games for WVU. Once a Vanderbilt Commodore, Ejiofor transferred to West Virginia after one season playing at a community college. Ejiofor has recorded five games of double-digit rebounding numbers so far in her career playing for the Mountaineers.
Ejiofor earned the minutes she deserved, as she checked into the game for 21 minutes against both Kansas and Iowa State. The 6-foot-5 senior gave the Mountaineers quality minutes on both sides of the floor.
Against Iowa State, Ejiofor — an Ebonyi, Nigeria, native — scored two points off of one shot and grabbed three rebounds. Ejiofor also recorded a steal and a block against the Cyclones. The stat line may not have been the most perfect, but Ejiofor made an impact on the game.
Against Kansas, Ejiofor posted her career-high with an eight-point performance on 4-of-7 shooting. The senior center also had four rebounds, one steal and one block. Forward Kari Niblack got into foul trouble early on, so that’s when Carey called Ejiofor’s name.
“That was big. Those eight points we needed from her, we needed that because Kari like I said was in foul trouble. Blessing came in and did a great job.”
Ejiofor will look to continue to contribute to an NCAA Tournament team for the rest of the season, as she has climbed up the ladder for quality minutes. The Mountaineers are on the verge of the Big 12 Conference Tournament as they march along towards an NCAA Tournament bid.