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#21 West Virginia women’s basketball team defeats Iowa State for ninth straight

Good morning! This is the Shotgun Throwdown, your daily West Virginia sports roundup.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Big 12 Conference Tournament Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

Football

WVU walk-on class grows as signing period reopens

West Virginia gained many in-state commits as preferred walk-ons during the second national signing period for college football. The newcomers include Bryce Biggs, a 2020 Class AAA First team all-state offensive lineman from Spring Valley High, wide receiver Joseph Udoh from Nitro, and Morgantown linebackers Caden Biser and Cam Rice. Biser was the 2020 winner of the Chuck Howley Award, as the state’s top linebacker.

The Good And Bad Of WVU Football In 2020 – General

Neal Brown’s Mountaineers enjoyed a winning record at 6-4 in 2020 and for just the second time in the last nine years, they ended the season with a bowl win. West Virginia showed a lot of improvement in tangible and intangible areas from Brown’s first year at the helm.

WVU adds FCS foes to 2026, 2027 football slates

The West Virginia football team has added games against UT Martin and VMI to its future schedules in 2026 and 2027, respectively. Both games will follow the Mountaineers’ openers against Alabama in those two years.

Men’s Basketball

Sherman, Mountaineers looking for spark against Kansas

On Saturday, #17 West Virginia will host #23 Kansas for the teams’ second matchup of the season. In the first meeting, the Jayhawks came away with a 79-65 victory over the Mountaineers. WVU guard Taz Sherman has been seeing more minutes on the court and is emerging as a scorer for the team, which could be a difference maker in this matchup against KU.

WVU basketball: Emmitt Matthews recovering nicely from COVID hiatus

West Virginia junior forward Emmitt Matthews has had fairly simple goals the past couple weeks: to eat, lift weights, and slowly bring his body back into form. WVU head coach Bob Huggins believed that Matthews was the most affected by the team’s recent COVID-19 issues. Matthews showed flashes of what he can do for the Mountaineers in WVU’s 76-72 win at Iowa State on Tuesday.

Mountaineers nearly squander 15-point lead but hold on at Iowa State, 76-72

West Virginia guard Taz Sherman hit two free throws with 6.4 seconds remaining and finished with 18 points as the #17 Mountaineers held on to beat Iowa State 76-72 on Tuesday night. WVU had a 63-48 lead with just over 10 minutes to play but allowed the Cyclones to make the game interesting at the end.

Women’s Basketball

Iowa State falls to No. 21 West Virginia

The #21 West Virginia women’s basketball team defeated Iowa State 65-56 on Wednesday night. The Mountaineers have now extended their win streak to nine games. Redshirt senior Kysre Gondrezick led WVU with 24 points and shot 8-for-15 from the field. Junior forward Kari Niblack added 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Mountaineers. WVU looks to extend its win streak on Saturday at Texas.

Emery Martinez developing into formidable post player

West Virginia sophomore forward Esmery Martinez has turned into a double-double machine for WVU. Martinez currently ranks third in the Big 12 in rebounding, as she averages 12 boards per game. She also sits at #16 in the conference in points per game, with an average of 14 points per contest.

West Virginia Athletics

WVU baseball unveils full schedule

The West Virginia baseball team will officially start its 48-game season on February 19th. The 2021 schedule features 28 games at home and 20 on the road, starting with a four-game series at Georgia State. The Mountaineers start their season with their highest preseason rankings in program history, including a #14 ranking in the D1Baseball poll and #21 in the NCBWA poll.

Mountaineer rifle remains No. 4

The West Virginia rifle team remains #4 in this week’s College Rifle Coaches Association Poll. On Sunday, WVU earned a 4737-4713 win over #3 Ole Miss in its last home match of the season. The Mountaineers will return to action for their last match of the regular season on Saturday at #2 Kentucky.

Trio of swimming and diving Mountaineers secure Big 12 awards

West Virginia senior David Dixon was named the Big 12 Conference Men’s Swimmer of the Week for the second consecutive week, while junior PJ Lenz collected Men’s Diver of the Week honors for the second consecutive week. WVU senior Ally VanNetta was named the co-Women’s Swimmer of the Week for the first time in her career.

WVU Ranks No. 20 in Intermat’s Dual Meet Rankings

The West Virginia wrestling team checks in at #20 in this week’s dual meet rankings by Intermat for the first time this season. WVU is one of eight Big 12 schools ranked inside this week’s top 25. The Mountaineers have won three of their last four matches for a 5-2 overall record.

West Virginia wrestling adds depth with Jeffery Boyd

West Virginia redshirt freshman Jeffery Boyd is riding a five-match win streak and has added depth for the WVU wrestling team this season.

Suns’ Jevon Carter: Cast out of rotation

Former West Virginia guard Jevon Carter did not see the floor Monday in the Phoenix Suns’ 109-108 win over the Dallas Mavericks. This was the second game in a row that JC did not play and he may have a tough time getting back in the rotation with the Suns bringing back other guards that were previously injured.

Around the Big 12

Trio of Guards Claim Men’s Basketball Weekly Awards

Baylor’s Davion Mitchell and Oklahoma’s Da’Vion Harmon shared the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Player of the Week award, while Texas Tech’s Mac McClung was named Newcomer of the Week. It is the first career weekly honor for Mitchell and Harmon, while McClung picked up his second award of the season.

ISU, WVU Capture Swimming & Diving Weekly Honors

West Virginia’s David Dixon claimed his second consecutive Big 12 Men’s Swimmer of the Week, while fellow Mountaineer Ally VanNetta and Iowa State’s Lucia Rizzo shared Women’s Swimmer of the Week. WVU’s PJ Lenz and ISU’s Jayna Misra were named the Divers of the Week. Lenz also picked up his second consecutive weekly award.

Butler, Cunningham Named to Wooden Award Late Season Watch List

Baylor’s Jared Butler and Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham have been named to the Late Season Top 20 Watch List of the John R. Wooden Award. The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2021 John R. Wooden Award Men’s Player of the Year.

Baylor’s dominance leaves Gonzaga as its only true challenge

#2 Baylor is absolutely cruising through its schedule, as no BU opponent has lost by fewer than eight points this season. Could the Bears be heading to a championship battle with #1 Gonzaga?

Around the NCAA

South Carolina pounds No. 22 Florida in paint, wins 72-66

South Carolina guard AJ Lawson scored 22 points, while Seventh Woods added 12, to help the Gamecocks beat #22 Florida 72-66 on Wednesday night, potentially making the Gators’ return to the rankings a brief one.

Gardner, East Carolina upset No. 5 Houston 82-73

Jayden Gardner had 21 points and 15 rebounds to help East Carolina stun #5 Houston 82-73 on Wednesday night, securing the Pirates’ first win against a ranked opponent in nearly two decades.

History says Kansas City Chiefs likely will lose: Why it’s so hard to repeat as Super Bowl champs

Oddsmakers have Kansas City favored to win by at least a field goal in the Super Bowl on Sunday, despite the game being played at the Buccaneers’ home field in Tampa Bay. History, though, suggests the Chiefs will lose.

Ranking the best Chiefs, Buccaneers players in Super Bowl 2021: Will Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady top the list?

Quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady headline the matchup, as Pro Football Focus ranked all 44 projected starters for Kansas City and the Buccaneers along with nine rotational players in this year’s Super Bowl.

Fans ejected after verbal spat with Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James in Atlanta

With fan attendance at NBA games being minimized, LeBron James’ tolerance for heckling has severely declined. Four fans were ejected from Monday’s game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Atlanta Hawks following a verbal altercation with James.

Everything you need to know about the return of EA Sports’ college football video game

EA Sports is rebooting its college football series for Next Generation consoles, announcing Tuesday that it will end the hiatus the game has taken since the release of NCAA Football 14. Here is what we know, and what we do not know, about the reboot.

NBA says no players tested positive for coronavirus in past week

No additional NBA players have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week, despite teams continuing to travel across the country for games.

NHL Power Rankings: 1-31 poll, plus the biggest disappointment for every team in the 2021 season

The 2021 NHL season is starting to take form, as the February schedule gets rolling. This week’s Power Rankings features the biggest disappointment so far for every team.

Way-too-early 2021 MLB starting lineup rankings

There are still some free agents on the board, but here is a way-too-early ranking of the MLB’s batting orders, as they currently stand.

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