The West Virginia women's basketball team closed out a 56-49 overtime decision over Texas, Sunday afternoon, at the WVU Coliseum.
Down 48-40 in the final 3:30 of regulation, a Bria Holmes three, followed by a Taylor Palmer three and an Averee Fields layup sent the Mountaineers (14-2, 3-1) into overtime with the Longhorns (11-5, 2-2). Texas was held without a field goal for the final 3:30 of regulation and the entire overtime period, while the Mountaineers went on a 16-1 run over that time.
WVU outscored Texas 8-1 in the OT period as Holmes continued the momentum with a three just over a minute in to play. Fields added a final jumper and Palmer converted 3-of-4 from the free throw line to seal the win. The Longhorns turned the ball over four times and with their only point from the free throw line in overtime.
The Mountaineers took care of the ball, limiting 13 team turnovers to UT's 26. The Mountaineers capitalized on turnovers, earning 23 points off Texas giveaways. WVU was outrebounded by Texas, 49-45, but pulled down 22 offensive boards, which helped in gaining 14 second chance points. WVU has recorded at least 22 offensive rebounds in three of four Big 12 games this season.
"Overall, all the hustles plays - we won the battles," coach Mike Carey said. "We had 22 offensive rebounds to their 14. We had 14 second chance points to their eight. When you're not shooting well and you're not playing well, you have to win the hustle plays, and we did that. That's two games now that if people watched the game, they would swear up and down we didn't win. That's the Oklahoma State game and this game. But give our girls credit, those people come off the bench and play extremely hard. They give us a push."
WVU shot its worst field goal percentage all season, making only 26.5 percent (18-68). The Longhorns made 35.4 percent, but recorded one less field goal, going 17-48. WVU had six threes to UT's three, and made 60.9 percent (14-23) from the free throw line to Texas' 52.2 percent (12-23).
"If you shoot 26 percent from the floor, 35 percent from three and 60 percent from the foul line, you wouldn't think you'd be standing here talking about a win. But that says a lot about our players' determination and guts," Carey said. "I'm proud of them, but needless to say, we need to get a lot better."
Fields and Christal Caldwell co-led the Mountaineers with 12 points each, while Palmer added 10 points off the bench. Caldwell and Holmes each had a pair of threes. Fields, Caldwell and Palmer all pulled down seven rebounds to co-lead WVU on the boards. Fields was instrumental in forcing turnovers as she grabbed four steals.
Texas had a pair of players in double figures, led by Imani McGee-Stafford with 13 points, while Nneka Enemkpali added 10 points and nine rebounds.
The Mountaineers take to the road as they continue Big 12 action at Iowa State on Wednesday, Jan. 15 at 8 p.m.