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Carey accomplishes goal in first year at WVU

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
| Sunday, March 3, 2002

In his first season at West Virginia coach, Mike Carey has guided the Mountaineers to a 14-13 record and a 6-10 mark in the Big East Conference.

His biggest accomplishment, however, was getting West Virginia to the conference tournament this weekend.

"One of the goals this season was to get to the Big East Tournament," Carey said. "We also wanted to win more games than last year and get out of the bottom of the Big East."

Which the Mountaineers did as they finished 10th out of 14 teams.

Carey said that just getting to the tournament is not enough. His plan was to win at least one game, maybe two. If not, however, having played in the postseason will give the underclassmen playoff experience and help build a foundation into next season.

Carey already has a pretty solid core with sophomore guard Kate Bulger, an Oakland Catholic graduate. Bulger led the team in scoring this season and was second in the Big East, averaging 15.5 points per game.

"Katie is a great team player," Carey said. "She does such a good job of creating shots for other people, too. She is a player I know I can count on and who can help us build a future at West Virginia."

A quick trip

Penn State coach Rene Portland made an appearance at Ringgold High School on Wednesday night.

Portland flew in from State College just to watch the WPIAL Quad-A semifinal between Oakland Catholic and Mt. Lebanon, which Oakland Catholic won. After the game, Portland flew to the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis.

Awards and honors

Conferences announced their postseason awards this week.

McKeesport graduate Swin Cash, a senior at Connecticut, was a First Team selection in the Big East Conference. Bulger was named to the Second Team while Pitt guard Laine Selwyn was an honorable mention in the Big East.

In the Big Ten, Kelly Mazzante of Penn State was named First Team. Teammate Rashana Barnes was selected to the Second Team. Steel Valley graduate Jess Strom was given honorable mention honors and selected to the All-Freshman team.

In the Atlantic 10, Upper St. Clair graduate and Duquesne junior was named to the First Team. Duquesne's Candace Futrell was named Most Improved Player. player. In the Northeast, Beth Swink, a Connellsvile graduate and St. Francis (Pa.) player was named Rookie of the Year. Robert Morris' Missy Spangler was named to the All-Rookie Team. Mt. Lebanon graduate Ashlee Kelly was a Second Team selection for Quinnipiac in the NEC.

"It is great to have coaches in the league recognize Missy and our program," Robert Morris coach Lynn Roman said. "It was well deserved. She is the leading freshman scorer, and I think this will be the first of many honors for her."

Another honor

Cash was selected to the Women's Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Challenge on March 30 in San Antonio. The game features 17 of the top college players and will be played in conjunction with the Final Four. The game will be held at the University of Texas. The opponent is the 2002 USA Basketball National Team.

Free throws

Eastern New Mexico coach Wayne Moore retired Wednesday with a career record of 315-261 in 22 seasons ... Stanford senior Lindsey Yamasaki missed this weekend's Pacific-10 Conference Tournament because she had to have her appendix removed. She will be back in action for the NCAA Tournament ... Notre Dame's 48-45 loss to Villanova on Tuesday was the Irish's first loss at home since Dec. 8, 1998 ... Connecticut's perfect 30-0 season was the third in the past eight ... Kansas became the first team in 18 years to go winless in the Big 12 Conference ... Friday scored her 1,000-career point Friday in the opening round of the A-10 Tournament in a win over St. Bonaventure.

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a sports writer for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

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