Mountaineer women’s basketball senior forward Kari Niblack has enjoyed an illustrious collegiate basketball career in Morgantown and she just recently added a career 1,000 points to her resume on Wednesday.
While her team knocked off TCU for the second time in as many weeks earlier this week, Niblack posted eight points and went three-for-nine from the field in West Virginia’s victory. The senior has taken a leadership role on this year’s Mountaineer squad by full force, serving as both the vocal leader as well as a big forward up front not afraid to rebound and make plays happen with her height.
Although Niblack has seen a dip in her production from prior years in the gold and blue, the Leesburg, Florida native is doing all she can to help the Mountaineers to victory each time out on the court. To point to how top tier of a college basketball career Niblack has had, she is only one of 38 Mountaineers all-time to shoot for 1,000 career points, currently holding 1,002 career points with head coach Mike Carey.
“I’m very proud of Kari, she’s a captain and well deserved, she’s a hard worker, she’s a lot of fun to coach, she’s my type of player, very aggressive, gets after it so I’ve really enjoyed coaching Kari and it couldn’t happen for a better person. We felt that as a freshman this day would come that she scores 1,000 points and we’re very happy for her,” explained Carey of his senior leader in Niblack.
Niblack’s most successful season numbers wise came her sophomore campaign in 2019-2020 when the forward averaged 10.3 points per game as well as 6.9 rebounds per contest. That season, Niblack also blocked 61 shot attempts in a strong defensive showing of a season. That year also saw the sophomore play the most minutes of her career while being on the court 27.8 minutes per ballgame as she started in 29 games.
The 6-foot-1 forward was a two-time Orlando Sentinel Player of the Year when she played prep basketball in Florida at Wildwood High School. While attending school in Florida, Niblack also led her teams to a pair of back-to-back Class 1A state championship titles in 2017 and 2018 while averaging 17.1 points and 12.1 rebounds per contest her junior year.
For West Virginia’s head coach Carey, it was an easy call to recruit Niblack after he saw what she possessed at Wildwood in Florida. Not to mention, Niblack is the daughter of Paula Parker who played college basketball at Okaloosa State College and UCF back before her daughter was a thought.
As for her Mountaineers the rest of this week, Niblack and her teammates will take on Oklahoma on Saturday in Norman as the Sooners are coming off a one-point victory at Baylor on Wednesday, 78-77. In the win, senior guard Madi Williams led her Sooners with 20 points before junior forward Liz Scott put the finishing touches on the win on a go-ahead layup with six seconds left in regulation.
Oklahoma is currently led by their nearly 50 percent field goal shooting as the team strokes 44.6 percent from the field which is led by Williams 18.4 points per game and senior guard Taylor Robertson’s 17.6 points per game including a 46.5 shooting percentage from three-point land. Last time the Mountaineers and Sooners met up, Robertson couldn’t miss from three, knocking down five of her 10 three-pointers attempted.
West Virginia and Oklahoma will square up on Saturday inside the Lloyd Noble Center at 3 p.m. ET. with televising on Bally Sports Oklahoma.
Photo by Dale Sparks, All Pro Photography