West Virginia forward Esmery Martinez shoots a layup against the Kansas State Wildcats on March 3, 2021.

West Virginia forward Esmery Martinez shoots a layup against the Kansas State Wildcats on March 3, 2021. 

The No. 20 West Virginia women’s basketball team survived a third quarter rally from Kansas State to earn a 72-64 win on Wednesday night.

Esmery Martinez posted her second straight double-double with 23 points and 12 rebounds to pace the Mountaineers. Behind her, Kysre Gondrezick and Kirsten Deans added 13 and 12 points, respectively. 

The Mountaineers started off well, jumping out to a 19-10 lead courtesy of Martinez and Jasmine Carson. After that, Kansas State came storming back with a 10-0 run to take a 20-19 lead, but a Martinez layup gave West Virginia a 21-20 lead after one quarter.

West Virginia took a lead in the second quarter with a Carson three-pointer and a Martinez layup. The Mountaineers ended the quarter with two three-pointers, one from Gondrezick and one from Jayla Hemingway, to take a 41-32 lead into halftime.

The Wildcats came out firing in the third quarter, with Ayoka Lee adding 10 of her 26 points in the third frame. 

In the fourth quarter, Kansas State got its final lead of the game with a quick five points, bringing the score to 56-55. 

West Virginia shot 50% from the field in the win as well as 52% from beyond the arc, but the team shot just 57% from the free throw line. The Mountaineers pushed the pace with 12 fastbreak points and forced 11 steals.

The Mountaineers turned the ball over 13 times while forcing 14 turnovers from Kansas State. 

With its victory over Kansas State, West Virginia has clinched the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament next week. 

West Virginia has one remaining matchup with Baylor on Mon., March 8 in Waco. The game can be seen via Big 12 Now on ESPN+ with tipoff set for 8:00 p.m.

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Liam is a sophomore from Pittsburgh majoring in Sports & Adventure Media. This will be his second year writing for the DA.