After three weeks, the West Virginia women’s basketball team is back in the win column after a 79-71 victory over Iowa State on Sunday. 

WVU head coach Mike Carey was pleased with his team’s effort, given the lack of recent success.

“What I’m most proud of is the effort today,” Carey said. “I thought everyone came in and played hard, and we shot the ball well."

The Mountaineers did not take long to strike as they began the game, scoring the first six points. WVU built a nine-point lead before the Cyclones closed out the first quarter with two three-pointers to trail 23-16.  

In the second quarter, Madisen Smith scored five points to gain an 11-point advantage for the Mountaineers. However, the Cyclones capitalized on West Virginia’s foul troubles, making seven of eight free throws to cut the WVU lead to nine.

For the first half, West Virginia shot 19-of-36 (53%) from the floor while Iowa State went 9-of-23 (39%). Martin led WVU with 11 points while Gondrezick backed her up with 10 points. Kristen Scott led the Cyclones with 11 points, and Rae Johnson added six points after going 2-of-2 from three-point range.  

The second half had a grueling start for West Virginia (14-5, 4-4 Big 12) as it took three minutes for the Mountaineers to score their first basket. Lucky Rudd knocked the lid off the basket and began a 12-3 run. 

Iowa State (12-8, 4-5) knocked down three three-pointers to make it interesting before WVU closed out the third, scoring the final seven points to lead by 17. 

In the fourth quarter, the Cyclones made the game close after chipping the West Virginia lead to six with 40 seconds left. Gondrezick was able to seal the victory for the Mountaineers as she went 4-of-4 from the free-throw line in the final half-minute.

Overall, three Mountaineers scored in double-digits. Gondrezick scored 21 points as this was her first 20-point performance since Jan. 12. Martin finished with 18 points while shooting 8-of-12 from the field. Esmery Martinez finished the game with 12 points and seven rebounds after a 10-point second half. 

For the Cyclones, Scott led the team with 16 points after shooting 3-of-7 from three-point range. Ines Nezerwa finished second on the team with 13 points to go along with eight rebounds. 

As a team, West Virginia shot 33-of-66 (50%) from the floor while outrebounding Iowa State, 38-30. The Cyclones shot 21-51 (41%) from the field.

Up next, West Virginia heads back on the road to face the Oklahoma Sooners on Wednesday.