Following a loss to Iowa State, the No. 18 West Virginia women’s basketball team will look to bounce back when they travel to Lawrence, Kansas, to take on the Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday afternoon.
On Wednesday night, WVU (17-4, 11-4 Big 12) lost to Iowa State in Ames, Iowa, 85-68, struggling to keep up with the Cyclones. West Virginia was missing its starting guard Madisen Smith, who sustained an injury last week against TCU, but WVU head coach Mike Carey didn’t lay out excuses following the loss on Wednesday.
“We’re really beat up right now. I’m not making any excuses, but we didn’t play hard,” Carey said following Wednesday’s game. “Believe me, I don’t make excuses. We just didn’t play hard.”
WVU struggled to catch up with Iowa State, as the Cyclones hit 13 three-pointers and forced 17 Mountaineer turnovers. West Virginia also dealt with foul trouble from forwards Esmery Martinez and Kari Niblack. The two struggled to stay on the court, as Martinez played just two minutes in the first half and Niblack fouled out in the fourth quarter.
Now, the Mountaineers will set their focus on a Kansas (7-14, 3-12 Big 12) team who is on a five-game losing streak. West Virginia and Kansas have played each other once earlier in the month. On Feb. 10, WVU beat KU, 69-61, led behind four Mountaineers reaching double figures in that contest
This was the beginning of the losing streak for the Jayhawks. Since then, Kansas has lost to Kansas State (77-66), Iowa State (84-82), Texas Tech (99-98) and Texas (61-52).
The Jayhawks are led by sophomore guard Holly Kersgieter, who averages 16.7 points per game on 43% shooting from the field. The Sand Springs, Oklahoma, native, recorded her career-high against West Virginia on Feb. 10. Kergieter finished with 25 points on 9-of-19 shooting against the Mountaineers.
In the first game, WVU turned the ball over 17 times against KU. The Mountaineers average 15.1 turnovers a game as a team on the season. West Virginia is going to have to control the ball if it wants to take care of business on Saturday.
The Mountaineers and Jayhawks will look to end each of their losing streaks, as they will tip off in Allen Fieldhouse at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The game will be presented on ESPN+.