McCarty leads No. 8 Texas past No. 9 West Virginia
By MARK ROSNER, Associated Press
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas used its depth to overwhelm West Virginia.
Brooke McCarty scored 17 points and the eighth-ranked Longhorns beat the No. 9 Mountaineers 79-58 on Sunday.
Twelve Longhorns appeared in the game. West Virginia, afflicted with injuries, has a seven-player rotation.
“They have a lot of talent, a lot of height, a lot of bodies,” West Virginia coach Mike Carey said.
Texas (11-1, 2-0 Big 12) held West Virginia scoreless for seven minutes starting late in the second quarter and without a field goal for more than 12 minutes. The Longhorns put together an 18-0 push during that span. Texas led by 30 in the fourth quarter.
Naomi Davenport led West Virginia (13-1, 1-1) with 20 points and nine rebounds, but she made just 8 of 25 field goal attempts, and the Mountaineers shot 31.9 percent. Before Sunday, West Virginia ranked fifth in the country with 50.9 percent accuracy.
Texas led by 33-22 at the half despite a sloppy performance. The Longhorns committed 14 turnovers on the heels of 15 in the second half during a win at Oklahoma on Thursday.
But West Virginia had issues of its own, hitting just 7 of 34 shots (20.6 percent). The Mountaineers had the distinction of making four 3-point baskets in the first quarter while going 0-for-9 inside the arc.
Texas took much better care of the ball in the third quarter, committing just three turnovers while outscoring the Mountaineers 24-10.
“When you play people 40 minutes, the defense kind of gets tired,” Carey said. “But the third quarter, we were just going one on one.”
Texas coach Karen Aston said the Longhorns had a lot of anxious energy in the first half.
“Not a terrible thing,” Aston said. “We just couldn’t settle in offensively into good decision making. But I sure can’t complain about our effort, intensity defensively, attention to detail.”
West Virginia: The Mountaineers are 1-1 against Top 25 teams and they won their first 13 games without junior guard Tynice Martin, a starter who had surgery after suffering a foot injury during Team USA tryouts in August. She averaged 18.6 points a game last season. There is no timetable for her return. West Virginia has now endured four games without starting forward Kristina King, who also has a foot injury. She averages 11.9 points, 7.2 rebounds and leads the team in blocks per game with 1.7. King will miss at least two more weeks. Reserves Krystaline McCune and Anja Martin are also injured.
Texas: Aston has said several times that rebounding is a concern for her this season. But the Longhorns began the day ranked fourth in the nation with a plus-13.1 margin for the season. West Virginia was fifth-best with plus-12.4. Some of the Longhorns’ 63-30 edge could be attributed to them outshooting the Mountaineers 44.7 percent to 31.9. But Texas also grabbed 23 offensive rebounds, producing 18 second-chance points.
“They were a lot more physical,” Carey said. “Wanted the ball more than we did. Of course, we have half our team not playing. That’s no excuse. I thought we’d be more physical and battle them in the paint.”
HOLMES WORKING HER WAY BACK
Longhorns sophomore Joyner Holmes appeared in her second game this season after serving a semester-long suspension from school for an unspecified violation of university rules. The 6-foot-3 Holmes led the Longhorns in rebounding last season and ranked third in scoring. Aston said before Holmes returned that there would be an acclimation period for Holmes and her teammates. Sure enough, Holmes missed all three of her shots and committed two fouls in three minutes at Oklahoma on Thursday. Holmes went scoreless with three rebounds in nine minutes against West Virginia.
West Virginia can expect to drop, but the Longhorns will not necessarily move up. Nobody above them lost this week.
West Virginia hosts Kansas State on Wednesday. The Mountaineers are 9-2 against Kansas State since joining the Big 12 in 2012-13, but they split two games last season.
Texas hosts Oklahoma State on Wednesday. The Longhorns have won six straight against Oklahoma State.