(WVU game release):
WACO, Texas (Feb. 26, 2018) – The West Virginia University women’s basketball team closed the 2017-18 regular season with an 80-54 loss to No. 3 Baylor, at the Farrell Center in Waco, Texas, on Monday.
The Mountaineers fell behind midway through the opening quarter and were never able to recover, shooting just 33 percent as a team in the loss. Junior guard Naomi Davenport led the team with a team-high 18 points and 10 rebounds, while senior forward Teana Muldrow added 16 points for the Mountaineers. Senior guard Chania Ray picked up six assists in the loss.
“They just pounded us on the boards,” said WVU coach Mike Carey. “At least I thought we battled a little bit. We didn’t shoot well; didn’t rebound well. I thought we at least played hard.”
The Mountaineers (20-10, 8-10 Big 12) jumped out to a quick start, thanks to a pair of Muldrow baskets to start the game. First, the East Orange, New Jersey, native got WVU on the score with a layup before swishing a 3-pointer moments later to give the Mountaineers an early 5-0 lead.
Later on, Davenport drained a shot from beyond the arc to tie the game up at 8 before the Lady Bears (28-1, 18-0) scored eight of the final 10 points of the opening quarter. Davenport got a hand in the passing lane, which led to a steal-and-score to make it 13-10 Baylor, before the Lady Bears closed the frame with a 3-pointer to take a six-point leading to the second.
Muldrow and Davenport brought WVU to within two of the lead on two occasions in the opening stages of the second quarter before Baylor executed a 13-0 run to gain control of the contest. The Mountaineers were held scoreless for over four minutes at one point before Davenport converted a three-point-play with just 1:44 until halftime.
Davenport finished with 12 of WVU’s 22 first-half points, as the Mountaineers shot just 9 of 35 as a team in the first half. West Virginia trailed at the break, 36-22.
However, the Mountaineers did pick up the scoring pace in the third quarter, combining to make four 3-pointers. Ray drained a triple at the 6:34 mark, cutting the Lady Bears’ lead to 14 at 44-30. Muldrow also made a pair of shots from beyond the arc in the frame, including one with 1:12 left to go in the third.
Baylor, though, continued to hold on to its double-figure lead throughout the second half. The hosts led, 60-41, after three quarters.
West Virginia registered a 9-0 run during a stretch in the final quarter of play, holding Baylor without a field goal for over four minutes. Still, the Lady Bears were able to sit on their lead to reach close the contest.
Along with Davenport and Muldrow, Ray finished with seven points and six assists, while junior guard Katrina Pardee added six more. Baylor was led by Juicy Landrum’s 20 points. Landrum was one of four Lady Bears to finish in double figures.
WVU shot just 21 of 64 as a team and were outrebounded 52-32. The Mountaineers did force 17 turnovers, but couldn’t overcome Baylor’s 20-for-26 performance at the free throw line. The Lady Bears shot 27 of 62 from the field.
The Mountaineers will be back in action when they travel to the 2018 Philips 66 Big 12 Championship at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma March 2-5.