WVU women steady atop Big East
After a game against Duquesne in early November, West Virginia women's basketball coach Mike Carey had few nice things to say about his players' performance.
They got out-hustled. Didn't play smart. Didn't execute.
West Virginia won that game.
Two months later, West Virginia is 16-0, ranked No. 6 in the country and one of just two undefeated teams in the Top 25. And with the Big East season under way — the Mountaineers improved to 3-0 with a 72-44 victory against Cincinnati on Saturday — Carey still isn't ready to sing his team's praises just yet.
"We want to stay focused; we know we have a long way to go," he said. "You're never as bad as you think you are, and you're never as good as you think you are. We realize that, and we know that we have to continue to improve."
One area where West Virginia can't do much better is defense, a signature of Carey's teams. The Mountaineers were ranked first in the country in scoring defense entering yesterday's games, limiting opponents to just 46.4 points per game. From 3-point range, they had held opponents to 26.5 percent shooting, second in the conference and 14th in Division I. And they were tops in the Big East and sixth in the country in blocked shots at 6.8 per game.
Being the hunted instead of the hunters has taken some getting used to.
"I feel like we were able to sneak up on people last year, and we were able to make a name for ourselves," senior Medina Ali said of a squad that set a program record with 29 wins and finished behind only Connecticut in the Big East. "Now, they know who we are, so we have to come out with a lot of energy and play 12 times harder. Last year, we made a statement, and this year, we have to live up to the expectations."
The big red circle on West Virginia's calendar is Feb. 8, when they host Connecticut. They also host Pitt three days earlier.
The Panthers are 8-6 and 0-1 in the Big East heading into today's noon game at Louisville (11-5, 2-0). Their three-game winning streak ended Wednesday in a loss at Duquesne. Pitt's success in conference play will hinge on the continued development of their seven freshmen.
"The bench production is the freshmen," coach Agnus Berenato said. "The first six games, we were scoring nine points off the bench, and our shooting was horrific. Now, we're getting 27 points off the bench. The freshmen are playing a vital role."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Fix near, Moraine beach reopening expected
- Rowling spins web of publishing mystery
- LaBar: Kurt Angle preparing for WWE return
- ‘Farm’ cultivates little suspense
- Despite challenges, Wuerl campus set to open
- Former Butler, PSU LB sharing insights with young players
- Belle Vernon students to get a dose of ‘reality’
- Butler care facility to be named after Grapevine Center executive director
- McGraw eyes quick turnaround for SRU women
- Most of $9M surplus being used to cover Butler County budget needs
- Former Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV official has July 30 federal court date