MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — JJ Quinerly scored 20 points as the West Virginia Mountaineers took a revenge win over No. 21 Iowa State 73-60 on Saturday.
West Virginia (15-8, 6-6 Big 12) snapped a three-game losing streak after an empty road trip with the upset of the ranked Cyclones (15-7, 7-5). The victory is also WVU’s second win over an opponent ranked inside the AP Top 25.
“I thought we did a better job defending, honestly,” said WVU coach Dawn Plitzuweit. “We’ve had stretches where maybe we don’t score quite as efficiently, but the reality is those are stretches that your defense really has to carry you and I thought we really got into some spots today that we didn’t get into when we played against them the first time.”
The Mountaineers earned the win behind a massive second-half push, overcoming a one-point halftime deficit and holding the Cyclones to just 25 points in the second half. Ashley Joens, the Big 12’s leading scorer, mustered just four points after halftime despite a strong first half. She finished with 17.
Quinerly scored 13 of her 20 points in the second half to lead the Mountaineers’ second-half offensive push. Kyah Watson also added a double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.
“Being aggressive on offense was kind of my goal for today,” Watson said.
The game was fraught with injuries on both sides, including some that occurred before tipoff. Iowa State lacked Stephanie Soares, a senior forward who recorded a double-double against the Mountaineers, as she has been out since Jan. 8. For WVU, Savannah Samuel was missing from the bench as Plitzuweit stated the forward was out with an undisclosed injury.
They continued to pile up for WVU in the second half. Kylee Blacksten was the first to go down for the Mountaineers midway through the third quarter, hopping off the court with an apparent leg injury and never returning to the game. Forward Jayla Hemingway left the game in the fourth quarter also with a leg injury; both players were wearing boots on their legs after the game.
“Tough stretch for us, but I thought the young ladies who stepped in played great and gave us great minutes and made great plays,” Plitzuweit said.
Before she left, Hemingway recorded nine points and 12 rebounds. Blacksten added six points for WVU. Plitzuweit did not give an update on their respective futures after the game.
WVU returns to an even record in the Big 12 after falling below that mark with its recent losing streak. It sits in a tie for sixth in the league with Kansas.
Coincidentally, the Mountaineers return to the court on Wednesday when they host the Jayhawks. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET and it will be shown on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.