Women’s basketball set for Big 12 home opener Sunday vs. Texas

WVU Women's Basketball

The No. 19/20 West Virginia University women’s basketball returns to Morgantown on Sunday, Jan. 12, as the Mountaineers are set for the 2020 Big 12 home opener against Texas.

Opening tip is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown. Dan Zangrilli and Ayana Dunning will call the game for the Mountaineer Sports Network from Learfield IMG College. The game can be found on Jack-FM 100.9 as well as affiliates across the state, the TuneIn Radio App and WVUSports.com. Wednesday’s contest will be broadcast on regional FOX Sports Networks, with Ron Thulin and Monica McNutt on the call.

“They’re playing very well right now,” WVU coach Mike Carey said. “Make no doubt about, they have a lot of talent. They have quick guards, they have shooters. They have two of the better post players in the country, so we’re going to have to play extremely well. We’re going to have to shoot the ball. They overplay on the defense, and they gamble a lot.”

“We’re going to have to take the ball back door and make them pay for gambling on defense. Last but not least and make no doubt about it, the game is going to be won in the paint again. It’s going to be (about) who’s most physical in the paint, who’s rebounding, who’s blocking out and that type of stuff.”

Tickets are available at WVUgame.com. Sunday’s Big 12 home opener against the Longhorns is a True Blue game, with all fans encouraged to wear blue. Fans also will receive a free ‘Beat Texas’ t-shirt, while supplies last, with admission to Sunday’s game. Sunday also is Family Day at the WVU Coliseum. Families can purchase four tickets and a $15 concession voucher available for just $25. The Mountaineers invite fans to bring a plush toy for the postgame Teddy Bear Toss.

The Mountaineers (12-1, 1-0 Big 12) and the Longhorns (9-5, 1-1 Big 12) are set to meet for the 20th time in the series on Sunday. Texas holds a 12-7 advantage in the all-time series, including a 4-3 record in Morgantown. West Virginia won its last contest against UT, defeating then-No. 12 Texas 64-58 on Jan. 28, 2019, at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas. Last season’s victory against the Longhorns marked the first time West Virginia has beaten Texas in Austin. It also marked the highest-ranked Texas team WVU has defeated since March 5, 2017, when the Longhorns were also ranked No. 12.

West Virginia is coming off a 68-49 victory over Kansas on Jan. 8, at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas. Redshirt senior guard Tynice Martin led WVU in scoring, with 23 points, against the Jayhawks. It marked her third 20-point performance of the season. Redshirt junior guard Kysre Gondrezick also logged 21 points for back-to-back, 20-point performances and her seventh of the season. Sophomore forward Kari Niblack led West Virginia on the glass, grabbing 11 rebounds, including nine defensive boards. Niblack’s seven blocks at KU marked the most blocks in a Big 12 game since Feb. 18, 2015, when Lanay Montgomery also posted seven against Oklahoma State.

In her eighth season, coach Karen Aston has led the Longhorns to a record of 9-5 this season and boasts an overall record of 174-77 during her time in Austin. Texas is 2-2 on the road this season. UT’s two road wins have come against then-No.17/19 Tennessee and Iowa State. The Longhorns also have posted a win over then-No. 1 Stanford on Dec. 22, 2019, a 69-64 victory in Austin. Texas leads the nation with 19 double-doubles this season. Charli Collier and Joyner Holmes each have nine double-doubles, which is tied for No. 4 nationally. Holmes leads the Longhorns in scoring, averaging 14.7 points per game, and is one of three UT players averaging 10 or more points per game.

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