24th-ranked West Virginia women’s basketball improved to 12-2 on the season after defeating Texas Tech on the road Wednesday, 73-53.
Kysre Gondrezick led the Mountaineers with another 20-plus point performance, notching 24 points as she was one of four Mountaineers to finish in double figures. WVU also grabbed the win despite missing two of its top contributors.
“We got in a little foul trouble, but we was able to get the win,” said WVU Coach Mike Carey. “That was the biggest thing, we was able to get the win.”
The win was nearly wire-to-wire for WVU, as the Red Raiders led for a brief period in the early part of the first quarter, with the lead maxing out at just two points. Kari Niblack skirted the Mountaineers ahead with a lay-up, however, and they would stay ahead until the final buzzer.
There were plenty of offensive struggles for WVU throughout the game. They finished the contest with a 38.8 percent field goal percentage, which was dragged down by a 21-percent performance in the first quarter. Gondrezick especially started slow, adding just two points but without a field goal.
She heated up in the second, however, as she exploded for another 12.
Much of WVU’s offense came from its defense, as it added 11 points from 11 Texas Tech turnovers in the half. They finished the contest scoring 15 off 16 takeaways.
Several Mountaineers began to add chunks to the scoring total in the second half. Jasmine Carson and Kari Niblack combined for 15 in the second half, and they each finished the contest with 12 and 10 points respectively.
“I guarantee you, [Jasmine] will sleep well tonight,” Carey said. “She was huffing and puffing out there.”
Carson was among the highest minutes-getters for WVU, spending 33 minutes on the floor for third on the team.
Esmery Martinez was the fourth Mountaineer in double-digits, adding 16 points and nine rebounds in a rare showing in which she didn’t lead the team in rebounding. That title went to Blessing Ejiofor, who played 30 minutes as Niblack and Martinez reached foul trouble and added 8 points and 10 boards.
“Blessing was very active, especially in the first half,” Carey said.
Just two Red Raiders made it into double figures. Vivian Gray was the leader with 18 points, while Lexi Gordon added 11.
WVU was able to get the win without starter KK Deans, as well as Jayla Hemingway, who is out after sustaining an injury in the Mountaineers’ win against Kansas State.
WVU’s victory bumps it to 6-2 in the Big 12, just a half-game behind Baylor for the top spot. Texas Tech slides to seventh with a 3-7 record.
WVU returns to the court on Saturday at TCU at 2 p.m. ET.