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WVU women upset No. 17 Texas

Mineral Daily News-Tribune
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MORGANTOWN – The West Virginia University women’s basketball upset No. 17/17 Texas 92-58 on Saturday evening, at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown.

West Virginia was led once against by redshirt senior guard Kysre Gondrezick, who tallied a team-high 24 points against the Longhorns. Sophomore forward Esmery Martinez tallied a career-high 19 points and a team-high 10 rebounds in the win to record her fifth consecutive double-double. Junior guard Madisen Smith (17 points) and sophomore guard Kirsten Deans (12 points) also finished in double figures in the victory.

“Needless to say, I thought we really played very well tonight,” WVU coach Mike Carey. “We were hitting shots. We were passing the ball. I think we ended up with 20-some assists, which is big for us. We were getting out and running. I thought our bench came in when we got in foul trouble and did a great job. So, I was really proud of the bench too.”

After the Mountaineers corralled the opening tip, Texas got a steal and a fast-break score to take an early lead in the game. Martinez evened up the game on a straight-line drive, before Gondrezick scored the next six points for WVU to take the lead. The Longhorns continued to keep the game close early, but Martinez and Gondrezick kept up WVU’s offensive attack in the first, as the Mountaineers led by four at the first media break.

The Longhorns came out of the timeout with a pair of scores that tied the game with just over three minutes to go in the quarter. West Virginia responded quickly with a trio of free throws and a 3-pointer from Gondrezick, before Martinez scored on a second chance with 39 seconds to go in the period. WVU held UT without a field goal over the final three minutes of the quarter and led, 24-18, at the end of the first.

Redshirt sophomore center Rochelle Norris provided the offensive spark for WVU to begin the second quarter, as she scored WVU’s first six points of the frame. Down by eight at 7:15 mark, Texas called timeout.

Gondrezick stretched WVU’s lead to 10 following the break, but UT responded with a score from Joanne Allen-Taylor. Smith then added five points for the Mountaineers on a triple and a jumper from the stripe to put West Virginia up by 12. WVU tacked on three more at the line, as Texas attempted to cut into the lead. Junior guard Jasmine Carson added five more points with two minutes to go in the half, before Smith sank another jumper to put the Mountaineers up by 19 points. Texas mustered just one score over the final two minutes of the second quarter, as WVU led by 17 points at halftime.

West Virginia came out of the half and kept up its offensive attack by going on an 11-3 run over the first three minutes of the third quarter. WVU led by 25 at the 6:43 mark of the period. The Longhorns attempted to chip away at the Mountaineers’ advantage over the next four minutes, but a 3-pointer by Smith and another score from Martinez put WVU up by 30 with 2:30 remaining in the third quarter. Martinez and Deans combined to score the final six points of the period, and West Virginia led Texas, 74-38, heading into the final quarter of play.

Texas cut the deficit down to 28 points in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, as West Virginia only mustered a fast-break score from Gondrezick with 8:57 to play. The Mountaineers responded and retook a 30-point lead over UT with just over five minutes to play on another score from Gondrezick. WVU went on to score 14 more points to close out the period and secure the upset victory.

West Virginia shot 35-of-62 (56%) from the floor and hit 6 3-pointers in the game. The Mountaineers out-rebounded Texas, 40-26, while also holding the advantage in second-chance points (25), points in the paint (48) and assists (23).

The Longhorns were led by Allen-Taylor, who finished with a team-high 12 points. Celeste Taylor also finished in double figures, adding 10 points. DeYona Gaston paced Texas on the glass, hauling in six rebounds.

Next up, West Virginia plays host to Texas Tech on Wednesday, Jan. 13. Tip-off against the Lady Raiders is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET, at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown. Wednesday’s game will be broadcast on Big 12 Now on ESPN+, with Lanny Frattare, Meg Bulger and Anjelica Trinone on the call.