After another shuffle in its schedule, WVU women’s hoops is hosting Oklahoma State on Saturday afternoon with the hopes of avenging its loss to the Cowgirls earlier this season. Tip-off is at 2 p.m. and it will be shown on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.
The first meeting between WVU (9-2, 3-2 Big 12) and OSU (9-3, 5-1 Big 12) on Dec. 18 was a narrow loss for the Mountaineers, with the Cowgirls holding off a late surge to hold on for a 78-73 victory. WVU was marred by a tough shooting performance in the first two quarters of that one, paired with an explosive Cowgirl second half in which OSU made 69.5 percent of its shots.
Five Mountaineers scored in double figures, however leading scorer Kysre Gondrezick scored 15 points — her second-lowest total of the season. For the Cowgirls, Natasha Mack led the squad, tying her team-high average with 19 points.
Since that contest, WVU has yet to lose a game, while OSU is coming off its first loss in seven contests to Iowa State.
There have been a lot of positive signs for the Mountaineers in their wins, which includes a 92-58 demolition of then-No. 17 Texas and a close 83-78 win over Texas Tech on Wednesday. Up until that most recent win, WVU completed three consecutive games shooting 53 percent or more while scoring 83 or more points.
Much of that has to do with the stellar play of Gondrezick, who put up three straight 20-plus performances before scoring 19 on Wednesday. She won’t be an option for Coach Mike Carey in this contest as she is with her family after the sudden passing of her father.
That means Carey will have to look elsewhere to find the motor for his offense on Saturday. Three other Mountaineers are scoring in double figures — Esmery Martinez, Kirsten Deans and Madisen Smith — so that likely won’t be much of a problem on an individual level. Carey does, however, want to see more out of his team as a unit.
“We’ve got to have our quickness against them,” he said. “They have great post players, they’ve got a great point guard, and then they’ve got a shooter on the perimeter. They’re a very good basketball team. So we’ll have to have quickness, we’ll have to play a lot better than we did tonight.”
Action between the Mountaineers and the Cowgirls tips off at 2 p.m. on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.