Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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January 29, 2013

Like the WVU men, the women are blowing leads, too

MORGANTOWN — Are the West Virginia women catching up with the West Virginia men in blowing double-digit leads and losing basketball games?

That appeared to be the situation during this past week. The women bowed twice in home games against Texas Tech in overtime 77-73 last Tuesday and to No. 24-ranked Iowa State, 53-49 on Saturday.

The Lady Mountaineers are now 11-8 overall and 3-5 in the Big 12 conference standings. They could have been 13-6 and 5-3 had they won the last two close contests.

Meanwhile, the WVU men’s team built a 13-point lead at Oklahoma State in the first half. But then the Cowboys went on a 19-3 run and wound up losing 80-66.

That was the men’s third loss in their last seven contests. They now are 9-10 overall and 2-4 in the Big 12.

It is the first time since 2002-03 that coach Bob Huggins’ team has a sub-winning record this late in the season.

Mike Carey, the women’s veteran head coach, said his players need to keep executing and staying focused for all 40 minutes.

That sounds like good advice for both of these teams. They’re blowing double-digit leads as a result of second-half lapses.

“It’s the same thing once again,” Carey said after Saturday’s heartbreaking defeat. “They (Iowa State) executed and we didn’t in the second half.”

He noted that the women are 0-4 versus nationally ranked teams. They lost those games by a total of just nine points.

The women visit Oklahoma State today for their next game. Then they host Oklahoma Sunday.

After losing at Oklahoma State, Huggins said, “I feel like going home and going to bed and pulling the cover over my head.”

The Cowboys (13-5, 3-3 Big 12) had won just three of their last seven games.

Because of what he called “unexplainable mistakes,” Huggins said he never had a “group like that” in his 31-year coaching career.

After playing No. 2 Kansas at home Monday night, the Mountaineers will visit Texas Tech Saturday.

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