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WVU Women’s Basketball looks to finish season strong, despite slim tournament chances

With the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament quickly approaching, the West Virginia women’s basketball team needs nothing short of a miracle to keep their postseason hopes alive.

The team is currently sitting in 7th place in the Big 12 with an 11-12 overall record. Their current four-game losing skid has them without a win since Feb. 7 against TCU.

WVU has only one win in five games since losing their then-leading scorer, KK Deans, to a season-ending knee injury. Deans averaged 14.5 points per game before her injury, and was the unequivocal leader of this team.

With their most recent loss to Kansas on Tuesday, WVU’s tournament chances seem very slim.

Since entering the Big 12 in 2012, the team has qualified for the NCAA tournament five times. In four of those years, they had at least 22 wins. In 2013, however, they made it with 17 wins and without being ranked in the AP poll.

With five games left in the season, 16 wins is the best case scenario for WVU, unless they pick up multiple wins in the conference tournament. Furthermore, the final stretch of the season will certainly not be easy.

Three of WVU’s five remaining games are against Big 12 teams projected to make the tournament, (Texas, Kansas State and Iowa State). Texas and Iowa State are also ranked as of now.

ESPN’s latest poll has each of the six Big 12 teams ranked above WVU making the tournament. Those teams are Iowa State, Oklahoma, Baylor, Kansas, Texas, and Kansas State. Each of them already has 17 or more wins. 

WVU has struggled in conference play, as they are currently 4-9 against Big 12 opponents. They are also 2-3 against the remaining teams on their schedule. 

Games against ranked opponents have also been a struggle for WVU. They have not won a single game against an opponent ranked in the top 25. Only one of those eight losses ended with the scores being within single digits.

A quick turnaround is most certainly needed, but it is not impossible. If the team can gain momentum and string together some statement wins, they may just have a shot.

Photo by Dale Sparks, All Pro Photography

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