No. 7 W. Virginia women beat Texas in Big 12 semis

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 9, 2014 at 8:35 pm •  Published: March 9, 2014
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Texas just couldn't lay off.

West Virginia's guards drove over and over again, and Texas kept fouling. The Mountaineers outscored Texas 28-14 from the free-throw line on their way to a 67-60 victory Sunday in the Big 12 tournament semifinals.

Bria Holmes scored 23 points and Christal Caldwell added 15 points for No. 7 West Virginia (29-3). The guards combined to make 17 free throws.

"West Virginia's guards were really, really good today, and we weren't able to keep them at bay as far as early in the game transition buckets, and then in the second half we just couldn't stop their penetration," Texas coach Karen Aston said. "Part of it was our lack of efficiency on defense, but some of it was their ability to get to the paint and draw fouls."

West Virginia advanced to play No. 9 Baylor in the championship game Monday night. The Mountaineers will try to win the tournament in their second year in the Big 12. Top-seeded Baylor and second-seeded West Virginia shared the regular-season title. Baylor beat No. 18 Oklahoma State 65-61 earlier Sunday.

Chassidy Fussell scored 15 points, and Nekia Jones added 14 for the Longhorns (21-11).

Texas' normally dominant posts struggled. Nneka Enemkpali, a 6-foot-1 junior who was an all-conference first-team pick, had six points and four rebounds. Imani McGee-Stafford, a 6-7 sophomore and an all-conference second-team selection, had five points and six rebounds.

"I thought they did a terrific job denying our post players the ball," Aston said. "It's twofold: They have to work a little harder and get better position, but the other piece to that is that we have to be patient enough to reverse the basketball where we can get some pins from the way that they're being played on the first pass, and that's where I thought we were impatient, really, really impatient in the first half and didn't let the offense flow."

It was the rubber match in a tight series. West Virginia won the first regular-season meeting 56-49 in overtime at home, and Texas won the rematch 66-63 in Austin.

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