West Virginia women’s hoops earned another home win after defeating Texas Tech at home on Wednesday, 83-78.
WVU had several key players step up at various times in this one as the Mountaineers had to survive a high volume of fouls in the second half.
The Red Raiders got themselves a lead in the opening minutes, but it dwindled away quickly. Rochelle Norris checked in early off the bench and scored the Mountaineers’ first seven points to swing the lead back to WVU.
Norris’s success was indicative of a clear size advantage for West Virginia that was clear throughtout the contest.
Esmery Martinez took advantage of her size early on, notching double-digits in scoring by halftime. Most of those points came in the second quarter, helping WVU to extend its lead to eight at the break.
“They couldn’t guard us in the paint, but we didn’t make them pay for that,” Carey said. “Rochelle did at times, Kari [Niblack] did at times, Esmery did at times, but man, we could have done it a lot more.”
The game got choppy in the third quarter as both teams started to rack up fouls. West Virginia was whistled for 31 fouls on the game, including 11 in the third. This culminated with 4:45 remaining on the clock in the quarter, when Mike Carey was whistled for a technical foul. That call coincided with a personal foul against WVU’s Blessing Ejiofor, giving the Red Raiders four consecutive free throws — three of which fell.
A minute later, TTU coach Krista Gerlich was called for her own technical foul.
In total, Texas Tech shot 30 free throws and made 24. West Virginia, on the other hand, made 14 of its 16 free throws. Seven Mountaineers were met with foul trouble, four of which racked up four fouls by the final buzzer.
Kysre Gondrezick and Jasmine Carson took control in the fourth quarter, combining for 14 points as WVU went on to hold off the Red Raiders for the win. Carson was especially important in the fourth, scoring eight points of a 10-0 WVU run to start the quarter, essentially putting the contest out of reach for Texas Tech.
The Red Raiders
Carson dropped a season-high 13 points, while Martinez finished with 18 points and 15 rebounds. Gondrezick once again led the Mountaineers in scoring with 19. Norris added just one more bucket after the first quarter to tally nine points.
“That’s what [Jasmine] does, she’s a scorer,” Carey said. “Once she learns our defense and that, she’s a legit scorer.”
Carson was the beacon of a strong effort off the WVU bench, which added 30 points as a unit.
Texas Tech’s Vivian Gray was a problem for West Virginia, adding 28 points in the losing effort.
The Mountaineers move to 9-2 on the season, including a 3-2 mark in the Big 12. Texas Tech falls to 6-6 overall with a 1-5 conferemce record.
WVU returns to the court on Saturday at 2 p.m. at home.