MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – No. 19 West Virginia ended with 11 wins after Mountaineers suffered a 72-71 defeat at the hands of Oklahoma, at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown.
West Virginia held a solid lead for most of the game, but couldn’t overcome the quicker offensive spark in the fourth quarter to knock out a win. OU beat Mountaineers 15-5 in the final frame for a disappointing win.
Kirsten Deans sped up WVU’s scoring effort, scoring 22 points and providing six assists.
Kysre Gondrezick (19) and Jasmine Carson (10) also scored double in the loss, while second-tier Esmery Martinez led with nine rebounds.
“I give Oklahoma credit,” WVU coach Mike Carey. “They shot, we didn’t do it. When we got Kari Niblack in big trouble they killed us in transition because nobody spoke at the time. We won’t be back. In the fourth quarter, we scored five points because I think we took 13 shots and no 3. We were 1-for-9. We do have a chance to win there and play the game.
“Esmery shot wide open and missed. Curry gets the rebound and kicks him. We look slow. We’re having a foul problem. Madisen has cramps in his calf. We don’t come back and play defensively. We don’t go to the foul line. (We have) too much turnover once again. (We) left our feet in the paint. Such things add to the disadvantages. “
The mountaineer controlled the end of the opening, but the Sooners were first on board with an easy layup.
Niblack quickly hit back with a short jumper to tie the game, followed by Gondrezick’s 3-point jumper. OU then hit a pair of three-pointer to go up 8-6 at the first media timeout.
Out of the break, the Sooners extended their lead with a two-point bucket, but Gondrezick went on for a layup, before Niblack added a pair in line.
West Virginia regained the lead after a steal from Gondrezick caused a layup that broke away from Deans, but Oklahoma dropped a triple to lead 13-12 with more than a minute remaining in the quarter.
To close the opening frame, Gondrezick hooked up the trey before Smith hit one of his when the bell rang to give WVU a 20-13 lead ahead of the second quarter.
To open the second frame, West Virginia jumped to a quick double-digit lead, with a back-to-back layup from Deans and Gondrezick, followed by a jumper from Ejiofor for a 10-point lead.
Carson drops the triple to raise WVU, 29-16, and forces the Sooners to ask for a time limit.
After the time limit, the Sooners continued on their own run, scoring seven unanswered points to cut Mountaineer’s lead to six.
As the last minutes of the first half mark the time, both teams swapped baskets back and forth, with WVU taking the slightest advantage, 40-36 into the dressing room.
Martinez opened the scoring for the second half for West Virginia, turning to the lane for a layup.
Mountaineers then jumped to an eight-point lead after a bucket trio of Gondrezick, Niblack and Martinez, but OU responded by forcing three WVU turnovers to cut Mountaineer’s lead to three.
West Virginia and Oklahoma continued to struggle back and forth throughout the third quarter, but the mountaineer ‘s spark started with a 3 – pointer from Deans before he gave Smith one for a quick layup.
West Virginia then jumped for a double-digit lead but led 66-57 into the final frame after OU tripled at the bell.
The Sooners used momentum from the final seconds of the third quarter to advance 13-0 and took the lead for the first time since 1:49 of the opening quarter.
West Virginia didn’t score in the fourth quarter until Deans put on a driving layup in the 1:53 minute, but Oklahoma held on to lead 72-68 with less than a minute to play.
With time winding down, Deans tripled to bring down WVU by just one point, before Gondrezick intercepted an Oklahoma inbounds pass to give Mountaineers the ball with 22 seconds remaining.
West Virginia got a pair of shots but could not convert, falling 72-71 at the hands of the visiting Sooners.
West Virginia is back on the streets on Wednesday, February 17, for its midweek bout against No. 7 Baylor in Waco, Texas. The Ferrell Center tipoff is set for 8pm and the contest will be broadcast on Big 12 Now on ESPN +.