Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

College Sports

March 10, 2014

WVU tops Texas to reach Big 12 title game

OKLAHOMA CITY — Bria Holmes scored 23 points to help No. 7 West Virginia beat Texas 67-60 on Sunday in the Big 12 tournament semifinals.

Christal Caldwell added 15 points for the Mountaineers (29-3). West Virginia outscored Texas 28-14 from the free-throw line to win its 12th straight.

West Virginia advanced to play No. 9 Baylor in the championship game Monday night. The Mountaineers will try to win the tournament in their second year in the Big 12. Top-seeded Baylor and second-seeded West Virginia shared the regular-season title. Baylor beat No. 18 Oklahoma State 65-61 earlier Sunday.

Chassidy Fussell scored 15 points, and Nekia Jones added 14 for the Longhorns (21-11).

It was the rubber match in a tight series. West Virginia won the first regular-season meeting 56-49 in overtime at home, and Texas won the rematch 66-63 in Austin.

West Virginia led 28-21 at halftime. Neither team shot well in the first 20 minutes — Texas made 8 of 24 shots, and West Virginia was 8 of 26. West Virginia outscored Texas 9-3 on free throws before the break. Jones, a reserve, scored nine points in the first half to help Texas stay in the game.

West Virginia increased its lead to 37-28 on a jumper by Caldwell, yet Texas hung tough. Jones’ 3-point play cut it to 44-43 with just under 12 minutes to play, but Linda Stepney answered with a 3-point play on the other end.

West Virginia temporarily regained control with a 3-point play by Holmes to go up 55-46 with about eight minutes remaining.

Fussell converted a 3-point play with 5:39 to play, trimming West Virginia’s edge to 56-51, and Kelsey Lang’s layup on Texas’ next trip down the floor caused West Virginia to call a timeout. Texas chopped the Mountaineers’ lead to one, but Fussell fouled out with 3:49 to play.

Texas had the ball, down one, but Celina Rodrigo missed a 3-pointer and Caldwell made two free throws at the other end to give the Mountaineers a four-point lead and the control they needed.

*****

TEXAS (21-11)

Enemkpali 2-5 2-2 6, McGee-Stafford 2-7 0-0 5, Rodrigo 3-6 4-4 10,  Fussell 5-12 3-6 15, Sanders 0-7 0-0 0, Davenport 1-3 2-4 4,  Henderson 0-2 0-0 0, Taylor 0-2 0-0 0, Jones 5-7 3-3 14, Lang 3-4 0-0 6. Totals 21-55 14-19 60.

WEST VIRGINIA (29-3)

Fields 1-5 2-2 4, Bussie 2-6 5-8 9, Caldwell 3-10 8-8 15,  Stepney 1-2 1-1 3, Holmes 6-11 9-14 23, Palmer 3-6 2-2 10,  Hampton 0-2 0-0 0, Faulk 0-0 0-0 0, Harlee 1-5 1-2 3, Leary 0-0 0-0 0,  Gordon 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-47 28-37 67.

Halftime—West Virginia 28-21. 3-Point Goals—Texas 4-15 (Fussell 2-5,  McGee-Stafford 1-1, Jones 1-3, Davenport 0-1, Rodrigo 0-2, Sanders 0-3),  West Virginia 5-16 (Palmer 2-4, Holmes 2-6, Caldwell 1-2, Hampton 0-1,  Stepney 0-1, Harlee 0-2). Fouled Out—Enemkpali, Fussell, Stepney.  Rebounds—Texas 41 (McGee-Stafford 6), West Virginia 30 (Caldwell 5).  Assists—Texas 9 (Rodrigo 4), West Virginia 7 (Caldwell, Hampton, Stepney  2). Total Fouls—Texas 27, West Virginia 19. A—4,954.

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