LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Nov. 28, 2020) – The West Virginia University women’s basketball team picked up its second win of the season on Saturday evening, as the Mountaineers defeated LSU, 62-42, at the South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
With the win, WVU coach Mike Carey collected his 700th career victory of his 33-year coaching career, including the 412 that have come during his 20-year career at West Virginia.
Redshirt senior guard Kysre Gondrezick once again led WVU in scoring, with 22 points against the Tigers. Sophomore guard Kirsten Deans also finished in double figures for the second consecutive game, with 10 points. Junior forward Kari Niblack paced the Mountaineers on the glass by hauling in 11 rebounds.
Deans got the Mountaineers on the board first with a pair of free throws at the seven-minute mark of the first quarter. Gondrezick then converted a pair of her own from the charity stripe, before LSU got on the board with a score in the paint. Niblack scored on a fast break to stretch the Mountaineer lead following the first media break and senior center Blessing Ejiofor added to WVU’s advantage soon after. LSU countered with a pair of 3-pointers, but West Virginia went to the line four times over the final two minutes of the quarter to hold its lead. WVU led LSU, 16-10, at the end of the first.
A technical foul was issued on LSU’s Awa Trasi with seven minutes to go in the half, and WVU added two free throws to build its advantage. Gondrezick then sank a baseline jumper with just over six minutes to go in the half to give WVU a 10-point lead. Ejiofor added another score just before the second-quarter media break, but the Tigers countered with a pair of free throws and a score in the paint. Gondrezick drained a 3-pointer to give WVU a 15-point lead with just under three minutes to go in the half, but LSU added a few more scores to hold the Mountaineers’ advantage to 11 points, as both teams headed to the locker rooms.
Gondrezick opened the third quarter with a fast-break score before sophomore guard Madisen Smith added two more at the line with just over six minutes to go in the frame. LSU cut the Mountaineers’ lead back to 10 with just over five minutes remaining on a triple from center Faustine Aifuwa. West Virginia held an eight-point lead at the third-quarter media timeout after a pair of scores from LSU’s Tiara Young. Following the break, two baskets from Deans and a triple from Gondrezick stretched WVU’s lead to 14 points as both teams headed to the final quarter.
West Virginia continued to keep its lead early in the fourth thanks to two scores from Gondrezick. Smith then added a 3-pointer with just under eight minutes to play to give WVU a 17-point advantage. Gondrezick struck from behind the arc just before the final media timeout to give the Mountaineers a 20-point lead with just over six minutes to go in the game. Sophomore guard Jayla Hemingway would make three free throws over the final three minutes to extend WVU’s lead and help the Mountaineers coast to their second win of the season.
The Mountaineers shot 19-of-42 (45,2%) from the field, including 4-of-9 (44.4%) from 3-point range. WVU was 20-of-26 (76.9%) from the free-throw line, compared to LSU’s 9-of-18 (50%). West Virginia outrebounded LSU 31-26 and held the advantage in assists, 11-6.
LSU’s scoring effort was led by Aifuwa, who finished with 12 points. Guard Khayla Pointer also chipped in 11 points for the Tigers. LSU finished the game shooting 15-of-51 (29.4%) from the field and 3-of-10 (30%) from behind the arc.
West Virginia next competes on Thursday, Dec. 3, as the Mountaineers host North Alabama at the WVU Coliseum, in Morgantown, West Virginia. Opening tip against the Lions is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.
Press Release Courtesy of WVU Sports