AUSTIN, Texas — Redshirt junior guard Tynice Martin scored a season-best 27 points to help the West Virginia University women's basketball team register a 64-58 upset win over No. 12 Texas on Monday night at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.
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Martin finished 9-of-18 from the field and added five rebounds, leading the Mountaineers to their biggest win of the season. Senior guard/forward Naomi Davenport chipped in with 15 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals, while freshman forward Kari Niblack scored 10 points.
WVU led by as many as 14 but were forced to fend off a late Texas comeback attempt to secure the important road victory. The win marked the Mountaineers' first in Austin. The Mountaineers scored 24 points off 21 Longhorn turnovers to help secure their third consecutive win and sixth win in seven games.
Martin led the charge in the opening period for the Mountaineers (15-5, 6-3 Big 12), scoring three buckets in the opening 5 1/2 minutes in the game to keep WVU within a point of the lead at 9-8. From there, another Martin make gave West Virginia a 10-9 lead, its first of the game, at the 4:01 mark of the opening frame.
CUE COUNTRY ROADS! 🎶 @WVUWBB downs No. 12 Texas in Austin! #ncaaW pic.twitter.com/1EQBN1aMVj— NCAA WBB (@ncaawbb) January 29, 2019
Then, Martin swished a 3-pointer, while Davenport added an easy layup to push the Mountaineer lead to 15-9, forcing a Texas timeout with 2:55 to go in the first period.
WVU's hot start didn't stop there. Martin nailed another long 3 to cap a 14-0 run, giving West Virginia an 18-9 lead. Davenport tallied another make from downtown with 21 seconds to go to give the Mountaineers a 23-13 lead after 10 minutes.
Tynice Martin sets a program record with 16 points in the first quarter. pic.twitter.com/RKf3hwlRPM— WVU Women's Basketball (@WVUWBB) January 29, 2019
The Mountaineers scored 19 of the opening quarter's final 23 points and forced seven Texas (17-4, 7-2) turnovers. Martin made seven of her first eight shots, recording 16 first-quarter points.
The barrage continued in the second quarter, as freshman guard Madisen Smith drilled a 3, bumping the WVU advantage to 28-15, its biggest lead of the half. Later, Martin made a long jumper from the corner with 5:19 to play before halftime, making it a 31-19 game.
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Niblack put the finishing touches on a big first half for WVU, scoring on the low block off an offensive rebound to give the Mountaineers a 33-21 lead with 2:42 until the break. After sophomore guard Nia Staples' put-back that made it 35-27, Niblack recorded a three-point play with 5.5 seconds until the half, giving West Virginia a 38-27 halftime lead.
WVU finished 16-of-31 (51.6%) from the field in the opening half. Texas shot just 8-of-22 (36.4%) as a team before halftime.
Davenport opened the second half on a positive note, swishing a shot from beyond the arc to make it 41-27. She added another triple a minute later, extending WVU's lead to 44-30 at the 8:25 mark.
🎥 Highlights from tonight's 64-58 victory at No. 12 Texas! #HailWV pic.twitter.com/WqC9Ex5d39— WVU Women's Basketball (@WVUWBB) January 29, 2019
But after Martin hit a shot with 5:38 to go in the period, the Mountaineers were held scoreless from the field for the remainder of the frame. However, WVU was able to hold onto its double-digit lead until Texas made a shot at the third-quarter buzzer to make it 51-43.
The Longhorns outscored WVU, 16-13, in the period.
Battling major foul trouble, Texas scored the first six points of the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to two with 6:43 to go. Then, Davenport made a much-needed jumper in the lane, helping WVU grab a 53-49 lead with 5:59 to go.
That jumpstarted a quick, 6-0 run for the Mountaineers, who were able to bump their lead to 57-49 with 5:08 left to play, as Davenport found Niblack under the hoop. Later, freshman forward Jala Jordan hit a crucial 3-pointer with 3:20 to go, giving WVU a 60-53 advantage.
5:34 3Q | A Martin jumper ends the WVU drought and puts her at 20 points on the night. WVU leads 46-32.— WVU Women's Basketball (@WVUWBB) January 29, 2019
Up four with 28 seconds to play, Martin went to the line to split the pair before she added another make at the charity stripe moments later to secure the win.
The Mountaineers finished 22-of-55 (40 percent) from the field, including 7-of-17 (41.2 percent) from downtown. WVU was outrebounded, 40-27, but it held a 24-9 advantage in points off turnovers.
Texas, which was led by Joyner Holmes' 16 points, shot 18-of-49 (36.7 percent) as a team. The Longhorns finished with three players in double figures.
.... Cue Country Roads #HailWV pic.twitter.com/qw0m8cWW3L— WVU Women's Basketball (@WVUWBB) January 29, 2019
Up next, the Mountaineers return home to take on Kansas on Sunday, Feb. 3. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m. at the WVU Coliseum.
Notes: West Virginia improved to 7-12 all-time against Texas … Monday's win marked WVU's first in Austin (1-6) … WVU earned its first win over Texas since March 5, 2017, at the 2017 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship … the Mountaineers earned their 50th win over a ranked opponent in program history, including the second this season … WVU last defeated a top-25 opponent on the road on Dec. 3, 2017, at Texas A&M … Monday marked West Virginia's first true road win over a ranked conference opponent since Jan. 17, 2015, at Oklahoma State … redshirt junior guard Tynice Martin scored a season-high 27 points in the win, her fourth 20-plus performance in the last six games and the 23rd of her career … WVU improved to 14-2 when leading at the half.