Davenport leads No. 10 WVU women over Radford 75-55
By JOHN RABY, AP Sports Writer
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The injuries are adding up for No. 10 West Virginia, and coach Mike Carey is hoping to find the right combination of players with the start of the Big 12 season just two weeks away.
Kristina King, one of the Mountaineers’ most consistent scorers, left the game with a foot injury in the Mountaineers’ 75-55 victory over Radford on Saturday. Carey said King will undergo X-rays and he didn’t speculate on whether the senior forward would miss more playing time.
Her loss would leave West Virginia (10-0) with just nine available players.
“That’s just what we need, another injury,” Carey said.
Junior guard Tynice Martin, an honorable mention All-American from last season, has yet to play this season after undergoing surgery on her foot that was injured at the USA Basketball Under 23 national team trials in August. Carey said Martin is “not even close” to returning.
Anja Martin, no relation, is out for the season after undergoing hip surgery in the preseason, while Krystaline McCune has been battling a knee injury that forced her to miss all of last season.
The Mountaineers did get an extra body Saturday. Theresa Ekhelar, a 6-foot-6 center, had four points and four rebounds in 10 minutes in her West Virginia debut. She sat out the fall semester after transferring from Ohio State.
“Coming into this season, we thought we were going to be really, really good,” Carey said. “It is what it is. Nobody cares who’s hurt. “Nobody feels sorry for us. We’ve got to figure out a way to win.”
West Virginia has won 10 games to start the season for the second straight year, and four of those wins have been by 50 or more points. But with King’s injury, Carey said he’ll need as much preparation as possible for the Big 12 opener at TCU on Dec. 28.
“Now I’ve got to find some other people and put them out of position,” Carey said. “I thought we were finally getting a rotation, then all of a sudden this injury occurred.”
He’ll have to keep relying on the leadership of Naomi Davenport and Teana Muldrow.
Davenport scored 20 points Saturday, while Muldrow, the nation’s sixth-leading scorer at 23.2 points per game, added 12 points and 13 rebounds. Katrina Pardee and King added 11 points apiece.
West Virginia scored the first seven points, led the entire game and went ahead by double digits for good midway through the second quarter.
Khiana Johnson led Radford (4-4) with 17 points and Jayda Worthy added 11.
“This was a great learning experience for us,” said Radford coach Mike McGuire. “The first quarter set the tone. We got down 13 and couldn’t overcome that deficit. I’m proud of our kids for fighting.”
Radford: After shooting 54 percent from the floor in a win over VCU on Dec. 10, the Highlanders couldn’t match West Virginia’s firepower and were outscored 38-10 in the paint.
West Virginia: Coming off a 58-point win over Coppin State on Dec. 10, the Mountaineers spent the past week focusing on final exams and didn’t seem to be at top intensity or focus before a sparse crowd at the Charleston Civic Center. West Virginia shot 50 percent from the floor (30 of 60) but committed 17 turnovers.
“Give Radford credit,” Carey said. “They played hard and we didn’t. For whatever reason, I don’t know. We just weren’t executing defensively.”
The Mountaineers could inch up in the AP poll after No. 9 Oregon lost at No. 5 Mississippi State earlier in the week.
Radford faces Abilene Christian next Thursday in the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic.
West Virginia hosts Morgan State on Monday in Morgantown.