MORGANTOWN — And then they weren’t there…
The West Virginia women’s basketball group was eliminated from the NCAA Championship in the very first round Thursday in College Park, Md., just as the men’s group was a day earlier in Birmingham, Ala.
The No. ten-seeded girls ran into a No. 7-seeded Arizona group that had a small as well considerably in just about every location and place with each other a powerful second half for a 75-62 victory that most likely defined the distinction involving the two teams.
“I believed our young ladies battled,” coach Dawn Plitzuveit mentioned. “We began down in the very first quarter, we sort of dug ourselves a hole. I believed our resilience and toughness showed in a way. I believed we continued to function, to attack.”
The Mountaineers broke loose in the very first quarter, providing up a season-higher 28 points to the 24th-ranked Wildcats, who trailed 28-17.
“They seriously pushed the ball in transition. It was hard for us to come back and quit the ball. We fouled a lot in the very first quarter,” senior guard Madison Smith, who played her final game at VVU immediately after a profession that place her amongst the school’s greatest to play.
Bouncing back in the second quarter, the Mountaineers reduce the halftime deficit to 40-35 and turned the game in their favor and place on a powerful Arizona run to close the gap to 50-47.
The Wildcats, having said that, did not panic, even although they had been with out their greatest player, Shayna Pellington, and merely began pounding the ball inside exactly where Kate Reese would place up a 25-point lead and exactly where former WVU teammate Esmeri Martinez would record a double-double. of 13 points and ten rebounds.
“It was cool to play against her.” It is fantastic to see her once again. “She’s a excellent player,” Smith mentioned.
“It wasn’t as well strange for me.” I only played with her for a year. I imply, I am fine with her. We had been laughing and joking on the court,” WVU’s JJ Quinerly, who completed as the best scorer with 19 points. “Just one particular additional player, just one particular additional game…
Quinerly, it turned out, was the only offense VVU had immediately after they tied the game at 3 points. She scored 12 of her 19 points in the second half. At one particular point, she scored 11 of the 13 points she could muster at the time.
Arizona held the ball, had 19 assists to go with 30 points, and her rebounding, cutting 49 rebounds to just 35 for the Mountaineers, permitted the Wildcats to manage every thing about the game.
VVU’s inability to get something going on their offensive glass was devastating as they only had three second possibility points.
On the other hand, Quinerly would not attribute it to the distinction in size.
“I never feel it was their size,” she mentioned, “I cannot say it hurt us. The additional we could only the superior. We could have completed superior to maintain them away from the board, every thing, so…”
So it ended badly. VVU completed 19-12, possibly accomplishing additional than anticipated in a transition year.
“I told our players in the locker space that I never feel a lot of individuals, when this all began much less than a year ago, would have mentioned that our young ladies would have a possibility to contend and have a possibility to do the issues that we’ve completed this year.” , Plitzuveit mentioned.
Just before the game, Plitzuveit says she shared a story with her group that went along with this season.
“I’m not a really fantastic golfer, am I? When golf balls had been invented, they had been smooth. There had been no dings or dents in them. As quickly as they had been hit by the golf club, they realized that the denser the golf ball, the additional it will go,” she started.
“It was like us through our development, there was a lot of problems, a lot of understanding.”
“When there is a transition, it is difficult,” she continued. “Our young ladies had to study a new program, a new style, all these issues. We weren’t as effective as we wanted to be at the starting.
We kept fighting, increasing, placing dents on the golf ball if you will. It went on. When we completed, I believed our young ladies seriously battled and continued to get superior as the season went on.
It is just her way of hunting at the subsequent year, like she’s standing on her T-shirt and yelling “Fore!”
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