Mike Carey has racked up a few big-time wins during his 20 years as head coach of West Virginia women’s basketball. On Sunday, his team took down a storied program at WVU Coliseum and continued an impressive undefeated start to their 2020 season.
The Mountaineers (4-0) took down Tennessee 79-73 in overtime behind a career-high 27 points from Kysre Gondrezick. Four other WVU players reached double-digits, including 16 points and six assists from Madisen Smith.
Carey’s team has put up high point totals all season but against Tennessee, they also forced 20 turnovers and converted those into 19 points.
Even though the Mountaineers were outrebounded 56-34, Esmery Martinez pulled down eight rebounds to reach a career milestone.
Sure, the Lady Volunteers (2-1) are not the powerhouse they once were but the win could be a vital component to the Mountaineers’ resume come March. WVU was the only Big 12 team to pick up a win in the 2020 Big 12/SEC Women’s Challenge and is now 2-0 against SEC teams this year.
This win came after the midweek home opener against North Alabama. WVU dispatched the Lions 80-51 despite Olivia Noah dropping 23 points for the visitors.
Gondrezick scored 20 points to lead the Mountaineers and Esmery Martinez added 17 and 22 rebounds for her first double-double of her career. WVU dominated North Alabama on the glass 61-24, with 18 second-chance points and 40 points in the paint.
Even with two wins against major conference opponents and an undefeated start, WVU is not in the AP’s Women’s Basketball Top 25. The Mountaineers received six votes in the poll.
WVU welcomes No. 7 Baylor to Morgantown on Thursday, Dec. 10, to tip off the Big 12 schedule. The Mountaineers will then host James Madison on Sunday, Dec. 13, to close out the week.