The No. 11/12 West Virginia University women’s basketball team won their seventh consecutive game with a 70-56 victory over No. 18/21 Texas A&M in the Big 12/SEC Challenge at Reed Arena in College Station, Texas, on Sunday.
The win marked the second straight victory for the Mountaineers in the Big 12/SEC Challenge after defeating Ole Miss, 66-61 in 2016.
Teana Muldrow led the Mountaineers with a game-high 24 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Kristina King notched a double-double grabbing 13 rebounds and adding 14 points. Chania Ray (16) and Katrina Pardee (10) also scored in double figures. Ray also dished out six assists to lead both teams.
The Mountaineers outrebounded the Aggies, 43-41, while also holding a 21-10 advantage in assists. WVU scored 20 points off Texas A&M turnovers while scoring 36 points in the paint to the Aggies’ 28.
“I don’t think both teams played well. It was a kind of sloppy game, but I told our team in there that I would rather win sloppy than lose pretty, WVU coach Mike Carey said. “We are not very deep. Texas A&M is not very deep, and we got in a little bit of foul trouble there that concerned me. Our players did what they needed to do to win. It is a tough place to play and we played a real good team. To come in here and win that game is big for us.”
King and Ray scored 15 of WVU’s 17 points in the first quarter. King put the Mountaineers on the board with an early jumper, then added another before a bucket from Ray tied the score at 6-6 with 6:03 to play in the first quarter. A triple by Ray put WVU ahead 9-6 soon after.
Back-to-back buckets from King following a 4-0 Aggie run put the Mountaineers on top once again, 17-16, to cap the first quarter.
A pair of layups from Muldrow made it a 21-17 WVU advantage to start the second quarter. Muldrow nailed a jumper again to end a two-minute field goal drought by both teams, stretching the Mountaineer lead to five at 23-18. She added another to push the advantage to 25-18 with 5:29 to play in the second.
Pardee drained a three to make it an eight-point lead for West Virginia, but Texas A&M countered with a 6-0 scoring run that cut the Mountaineer advantage to two at 30-28 with just under two minutes to play in the second. Neither team scored to end the quarter, with WVU keeping the 30-28 lead at the half.
Muldrow started the third with a 3-point play, but an 8-0 run from the Aggies put them up 36-33 on a free throw with 6:59 to play in the third. Muldrow and Pardee scored in the paint as WVU scored nine straight to take a 42-36 lead midway through the third quarter.
Muldrow drained a jumper with seven seconds remaining as WVU closed the third with a 10-point advantage, 48-38.
After a Texas A&M layup to open the fourth, Davenport opened the scoring for the Mountaineers. Ray then drained a three, drawing a foul on the play. She made the ensuing free throw to convert the 4-point play and give the Mountaineers a 54-42 lead.
WVU climbed to its largest lead of the game, a 19-point advantage, with a layup by Ray with 4:02 to go in the game. The two teams traded a pair of buckets before Texas A&M hit a three to make the final score 70-56.
West Virginia will return to Morgantown on Thursday, Dec. 3, as they host rival Pitt. The game is slated to begin at 7 p.m. at the WVU Coliseum.