Oklahoma State Spoils WVU Senior Day
MORGANTOWN – West Virginia University and veteran women’s head basketball coach Mike Carey said goodbye to three of its best — seniors Teana Muldrow, Kristina King and Chania Ray — against No. 25 Oklahoma State on Saturday afternoon at the Coliseum.
But, it was a pair of upperclassmen — and a very talented freshman — for the Cowboys which stole the show as OSU left town with a 79-69 victory.
“When we got down 14 or 15 in that first half we just told the kids to keep grinding and that we would find a way,” OSU coach Jim Littell said following the game. “And, our freshman (Braxtin Miller) was pretty special (Saturday).”
Special is right.
Miller, who tallied 23 points in the Pokes’ 79-73 win in Stillwater in January, matched that total on Saturday and added a trio of assists and rebounds and one blocked shot to her totals as OSU improved to 19-9 overall and 14-3 in Big 12 play.
“This was an important game for us,” Littell said. “We haven’t played well lately and we needed a win to help us get things turned around before we head into tournament play.”
Conversely, WVU dropped to 20-9 overall and 8-9 in Big 12 play with a regular season ending contest at No. 3 Baylor slated for 8 p.m. on Monday.
“I don’t want to say anything negative,” Carey said. “She (Teana Muldrow) has heart. Chania (Ray) has heart. Katrina (Pardee) plays hard.
“We go from 15 up to five just before the half. I know what the answer is and I’m going to tell you. I’m not going to play upperclassmen that won’t play hard.”
Muldrow tied for game-high scoring honors with 23 points before fouling out while Ray tallied 16 points and Pardee 14 as WVU dropped to 3-6 in Big 12 games at the Coliseum.
“It can’t,” Carey lamented when asked about his team’s poor play at home in league games. “I’m going to be positive — you can’t.”
The Mountaineers came out blazing in the first 10 minutes, hitting on 45 percent (9 of 20) shots from the floor, including half of their four 3-pointers, to force a 20-11 advantage.
Ray, who scored 14 of her 16 points in the game’s first 20 minutes, was the primary weapon as the senior connected on 5-of-8 shots and was 3-for-3 behind the arc.
But, that would not be enough as OSU seniors Loryn Goodwin poured in 22 points and fellow senior Kaylee Jensen finished with a monster double-double of 17 points and 17 rebounds to negate the play of Ray, Muldrow and Pardee.
“We just don’t have enough players with heart,” Ray said. “You don’t like to say that about a teammate, but sometimes you’ve just got to do it.”