KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The No. 17/20-ranked West Virginia University women’s basketball team opens postseason play on Friday, March 12, as the Mountaineers begin tournament action at the 2021 Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship in Kansas City.
The No. 2-seed Mountaineers’ quarterfinals matchup will pit them against No. 10-seed Kansas State, which defeated No. 7-seed Texas Tech in the first round. Opening tip for Friday’s game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. ET, at Municipal Auditorium in downtown Kansas City. Dan Zangrilli will call the game for the Mountaineer Sports Network from Learfield IMG College. The game can be found on 100.9 FM, as well as affiliates across the state, the TuneIn Radio App and WVUSports.com. Friday’s contest also will be broadcast on Big 12 Now on ESPN+, with Chuckie Kempf and Brenda VanLengen on the call.
The Mountaineers swept the regular-season series against Kansas State (9-17, 3-15 Big 12) this year. WVU got its first win over K-State on Jan. 20, at the WVU Coliseum. The Mountaineers trailed by 12 points with 4:36 remaining in the game but used a 21-0, fourth-quarter rally to defeat the Wildcats, 65-56. Niblack (23) and Gondrezick (22) both tallied 20-point games in the victory, while Martinez paced WVU with eight rebounds.
West Virginia picked up its second win over KSU on March 3, at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kansas, by a score of 72-64. Martinez led the Mountaineers with a career-high 23 points and 12 rebounds, while Gondrezick (14), sophomore guard Kirsten Deans (13) and junior guard Jasmine Carson (11) all finished in double figures.
Kansas State is coached by Jeff Mittie, who owns a record of 125-96 during his seven seasons in Manhattan. During 29 seasons as a head coach, Mittie has a career mark of 579-331.
West Virginia is coming off its best regular season in the Big 12 Conference since 2013-14, when the Mountaineers won 16 league games to help them claim a share of the regular-season title. Earlier this week, four student-athletes were named to the 2021 All-Big 12 team, including Gondrezick, who became the first unanimous selection for WVU since Tynice Martin in 2019.
Martinez also was named to this year’s All-Big 12 First Team, as West Virginia was the only team in the league to place two student-athletes on the first team. Asya Bussie and Bria Holmes were the last Mountaineer duo to be named to the All-Big 12 First Team in 2014. Of note, Deans and Niblack earned honorable mention status on this year’s All-Big 12 squad.