The No. 22 West Virginia women’s basketball team easily knocked off Kennesaw State 78-58, on Friday afternoon inside the WVU Coliseum.
West Virginia junior guard Esmery Martinez continued her dominance from her game on Tuesday when the guard chipped in 13 points. The team was however led on offense by senior guard Jasmine Carson who scored 14 points of her own and went four-of-five from three-point territory.
Kennesaw State held control of the lead the entire opening quarter on Friday beginning with a Bre’lyn Snipes three-pointer a little over a minute into regulation. The Owls Alexis Pool also paced the team to tip off the game collecting six points off some two-pointers through the opening five minutes of the first quarter.
Martinez started the Mountaineer scoring in the opening quarter beginning on a fast break two-point jumper. Martinez then hit a three-pointer with three minutes left in the first quarter after racking up another two-point basket, but only brought the Mountaineer deficit to two points.
Both teams were unable to touch the net the opening three minutes of the second quarter, before West Virginia went on an 8-2 run halfway through the quarter. Senior guard Madisen Smith hit her second three-pointer of the day on a second chance opportunity for the 26-23 lead four minutes into the quarter.
Following a junior guard Jayla Hemingway layup bucket, the Mountaineers continued to build on their advantage off the fingers of senior guard Jasmine Carson and Deans. West Virginia headed to the locker room at halftime leading 42-30.
The Owls started the second half, looking to take back the lead after a Jah’Che three-pointer tipped off the half. Then only a minute later, Gabi Legister was fouled and hit a pair of free throws to bring the deficit to seven points, 42-35.
However, a West Virginia 16-6 run to end the third quarter put the Mountaineers up by 20 points heading to the fourth quarter, and the Mountaineers did not look back.
The scoring onslaught to end the third was assisted by a Hemingway second chance three-pointer as well as a fifth year forward Ari Gray three with a little over a minute remaining before the fourth quarter.
The Mountaineers continued to extend their lead over the Owls in the fourth quarter as the team went on an 11-2 run the first five minutes of the quarter. Senior guard Jasmine Carson knocked down a three-pointer a few minutes into the quarter off a Kennesaw State turnover. Martinez then continued her monster day with a two-point jump shot to make the West Virginia advantage 74-45.
After going down by 30 points halfway through the fourth quarter, Kennesaw State clawed back in the final five minutes of regulation as the offense went on an 11-1 run to end the game.
The Mountaineers will now host Radford on Sunday, November 21 inside the Coliseum at 2 p.m. with televising on ESPN+.
Photo by Dale Sparks, All Pro Photography