MORGANTOWN — On Training Day, the WVU girls’s basketball workforce discovered an vital lesson:
The Mountaineers can nonetheless win even with out star guard J.J. Quinerly within the sport.
That was the state of affairs Monday morning, in entrance of a Coliseum crowd of seven,535 — largely elementary-aged children from across the state celebrating a while off from class — because the Mountaineers held off a significant upset bid and beat Wright State, 77-72.
“I didn’t assume we performed significantly properly,” WVU head coach Mark Kellogg mentioned. “I’m not even positive we deserved, perhaps, for almost all of that sport to win.”
The Mountaineers (10-0) did so with the 2 tales of Quinerly on this sport.
Half 1 was the junior guard scoring a career-high 30 factors, prepared her workforce more often than not to maintain the sport shut.
It was Quinerly’s fifth-straight sport with not less than 21 factors. She’s averaging 23.8 factors per sport in the course of the streak.
Half 2 was the place catastrophe practically struck, as Quinerly fouled out of the sport with 4 minutes remaining whereas going for a steal on an inbounds go.
As an alternative, she fouled Alexis Hutchinson, who went 1 for two on the line to tie the sport at 67.
That considered potential catastrophe was not operating by Quinerly’s thoughts, although.
“We have been about to win,” Quinerly mentioned in describing what she was pondering. “I knew my teammates would step up and do what they needed to do to win this sport. I used to be simply able to root them on.”
It was the biggest crowd within the Coliseum for a girls’s sport since 2019, and it witnessed a back-and-forth between Quinerly and Hutchinson, who continued to go shot-for-shot towards the opposite.
Hutchinson, a fifth-year senior from Centerville, Ohio, completed with 37 factors for Wright State (6-5), essentially the most towards the Mountaineers since TCU’s Lauren Heard scored 38 on Feb. 20, 2021.
“Hutchinson was phenomenal,” Kellogg mentioned. “We threw lots at her. We tried a bunch of various stuff, and nothing actually appeared to work.”
Quinerly’s scoring apart, the sport was gained whereas she was saddled to the bench.
WVU ahead Tirzah Moore got here up massive with two baskets over the ultimate 4:06 and WVU’s protection picked up its twenty fifth turnover of the sport by forcing a shot clock violation with 38 seconds remaining, when the Mountaineers have been clinging to a 71-69 lead.
Moore’s play stood out, as a result of she had solely performed 5 minutes main into the fourth quarter, however then instantly turned WVU’s point of interest on offense.
“We type of thought we might run some performs for Tirzah, as a result of she had a mismatch inside,” Kellogg mentioned. “The entire day was bizarre. From the early begin, we didn’t have a shoot-around. The sport felt bizarre. I used to be trying to find something that might work.”
Jayla Hemingway went 4 of 6 from the foul line within the remaining three minutes and Kyah Watson hit two essential free throws that gave WVU a 75-72 lead with 22 seconds left.
“We battled, so I used to be pleased with that,” Kellogg mentioned. “Massive-time credit score to Wright State. I believed they have been the aggressor. They have been the workforce who punched first. They caught it to us early and we have been again on our heels.”
Hutchinson’s sixth and remaining 3-pointer reduce WVU’s result in 73-72 with 25 seconds left. On the Raiders’ subsequent possession, Hutchinson’s 3-pointer from the nook was too lengthy, and the Mountaineers might lastly exhale.
Jordan Harrison added 18 factors and 5 rebounds for WVU, however she additionally battled by foul bother. Hemingway completed with 12 factors, 10 coming from the foul line.