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Mountaineers Fall to No. 7 Baylor in Big 12 Opener

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (Dec. 10, 2020) – The West Virginia University women’s basketball team suffered a 65-45 setback to No. 7/7 Baylor on Thursday evening, at the WVU Coliseum, in Morgantown.

Sophomore guard Kirsten Deans led the Mountaineers in scoring, with 10 points. It marked the fourth time this season that Deans has finished in double figures. Sophomore forward Esmery Martinez led the team on the glass, with 12 rebounds. A trio of Mountaineers finished the game just outside double figures, as redshirt senior guard Kysre Gondrezick, junior guard Madisen Smith and Martinez added nine points apiece.

The Lady Bears got on the board first with a score, but Deans provided the response for the Mountaineers with a driving layup. Gondrezick then sank a pullup jumper to even the score at the seven-minute mark of the first. WVU was down by two points at the first media timeout after Baylor’s Moon Ursin converted a score in the paint. The Lady Bears added a trio of free throws following the break, but West Virginia answered with a layup from Gondrezick with three minutes remaining in the period. Baylor held a 14-9 lead over West Virginia after the first quarter.

A basket from the Lady Bears opened the second frame. Martinez then responded with a score that sparked a 13-point run that helped the Mountaineers tie the game with just under six minutes remaining in the half. The two teams traded baskets over the final five minutes of the second quarter, but West Virginia and Baylor remained tied as both teams headed to the locker rooms.

Baylor’s offense came out firing in the second half and outscored WVU 15-4 over the first six minutes of the third quarter. Martinez and Smith provided the only scores for West Virginia during the early part of the frame before Deans broke the Lady Bears scoring streak with a pair of free throws at the 4:23 mark. Sophomore guard Jayla Hemingway added a score just before the quarter ended, but Baylor held a 13-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Neither team scored over the first two minutes of the fourth quarter. Baylor broke the scoring drought with a second-chance jumper by Ursin. Deans then made a layup halfway through the frame, but Baylor quickly struck back. The Lady Bears held their lead for the remainder of the game, as West Virginia could not overcome the deficit.

The Mountaineers shot 15-of-54 (27.8%) from the field, including 2-of-9 (22.2%) from the 3-point range. WVU was 13-of-21 (61.9%) from the free-throw line, compared to Baylor’s 9-of-12 (75%).

Baylor’s offense was led by guard DiJonai Carrington, who paced the Lady Bears with 19 points. Ursin led the Lady Bears on the glass, tallying eight rebounds, and in the assists category, finishing with five.

West Virginia next competes on Sunday, Dec. 13, as the Mountaineers host James Madison at the WVU Coliseum. Opening tip against the Dukes is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET, on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

Photo credit: Dale Sparks-WVU Sports

Press Release: WVU Athletics Communications

Shanna Rose
WVU Graduate with a bachelor's in journalism and multimedia journalist. Sports Fan and sports writer. Former WVU News reporter. Contact Shanna on Twitter @SMR1837
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