Just a week ago, West Virginia women’s basketball was sitting high with a 3-0 start to conference play and a No. 19 ranking in the AP Top 25. Before long, a sudden and dramatic two-game skid would have the team searching for answers.
The Mountaineers’ stats don’t lie when it comes to their struggles. Mike Carey’s team has shot 35.5 percent in their two losses, with a combined rebounding margin of -35 boards. The most damning, of course, is the fact they’ve lost by an average of 32 points.
“You can’t dwell on that, you’ve got to dwell on the next game,” Carey said. “That’s the good thing about basketball, you’ve always got another game coming up in two or three days, so you know after a couple more wins, everybody will forget this. Except for me.”
Even though the biggest loss came against one of the top teams in the nation and defending national champion, Carey still saw plenty of glaring issues in his team — and they were pretty simple.
“We were never in the game,” he said. “I’ll take some blame. Our shot selection was not good, our ball movement was not good. Our defense was not good.”
Mike Carey is going to square one to get his team back on track. Earlier this week, his defensive focus was on defense, and to really emphasize it, his team didn’t take a single shot — they didn’t even have a ball.
“We’ve got to get back to basics, we’ve got to get back to doing the little things,” he said. “Because if you don’t do the little things, it adds up.”
It definitely doesn’t help the team that their top scorers have slumped along with the team. Senior Tynice Martin, who was averaging 16.8 points per contest before the skid, scored just 8 points in each game on 11.6 percent shooting.
“The last two games I haven’t been shooting well,” she said. “Me and Coach Carey talked and I have to do other things, which is like rebound and steals, playing better defense. I mean, you can score in a lot of different ways.”
Martin says the losses have exposed issues, and she sees a different intensity around the team.
“I mean, it is what it is,” Martin said. “Practice has been going great since then, and very intense….We just can’t wait to get back on the court and improve what we need to.”
Martin and the Mountaineers host Oklahoma State on Wednesday at 7 p.m. with the hopes of getting back on track.
“We’ve got to get out of this funk we’re in,” Carey said. “I’ve had teams do this before, it’s nothing that a win won’t cure.”