MORGANTOWN - The West Virginia University women's basketball team used a strong second half to help it earn its first Big 12 Conference victory of the season in a 67-58 win over Oklahoma State on Wednesday night at the WVU Coliseum.
WVU outscored the Cowgirls, 44-32, after halftime, led by a 21-point performance by redshirt junior guard Tynice Martin. Senior guard Katrina Pardee added 14 points, while freshman forward Kari Niblack registered a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
The Mountaineers shot 14-of-24 (58.3 percent) in the second half, including 7-of-11 (63.6 percent) in the fourth period to help them run away with the important league victory.
"We've seen it for two years. People get hurt, and you just don't have the numbers," said coach Mike Carey. "And give them credit, the team that was in there last, they were able to pull out a win. We needed a win bad. (We) get our first conference win, so it was good to get that win, and I thought (freshman forward) Kari (Niblack) for a freshman to come in, had a double-double, did a great job, played hard. I thought (redshirt junior guard) Tynice (Martin) did too, at times, but when she started getting cramps, couldn't really move. We're limited on the bench, so people have to play through that stuff.
Senior guard/forward Naomi Davenport and Martin combined to score the first eight points for the Mountaineers (10-4, 1-2). The pair traded jumpers in the opening seven minutes of the game, despite the team's chilly start from the field.
WVU shot 25-of-52 (48.1 percent) as a team and overcame 21 turnovers in the win. The Mountaineers also used a 45-33 edge in rebounds in the affair. WVU made five 3-poiners and finished 12-of-15 (80 percent) at the line.
Oklahoma State was led by Braxtin Miller's 16 points, who was one of three Cowgirls in double figures. However, OSU shot just 18-of-64 (28.1 percent) from the field, and its bench was outscored, 16-3. The Mountaineers return to action on Sunday, Jan. 13, when they travel to Oklahoma. Tipoff in Norman is set for 3 p.m.