WVU women’s basketball takes on WVU Tech at Haunted Hoops

Gold and Blue Nation

The No. 19-ranked West Virginia University women’s basketball team is set to welcome WVU Tech for its season-opening, Haunted Hoops exhibition on Thursday, Oct. 28, at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown.

Thursday’s contest against the Golden Bears tips at 7 p.m. ET, and will be broadcast on Big 12 Now on ESPN+, with Eric Little and Meg Bulger on the call. The game also can be found on 98.3 FM/1490 AM WBKE, with Dan Zangrilli on the call. Live stats will be available on WVUsports.com.

Admission to the Halloween-themed contest is free, with gates opening at 5:30 p.m. Prior to that, Trunk-or-Treat will start on the Mountaineer track next to the WVU Shell Building at 5 p.m., and will continue on the Coliseum concourse when gates open. Fans are encouraged to wear their costumes to the event.

In accordance with the updated WVU policy effective Oct. 21, Mon. County Health Department and CDC guidelines, those who are not vaccinated will be expected to wear a mask properly above the nose while inside the WVU Coliseum with the exception of when eating and drinking.

As the Coliseum will return to normal operations, WVU strongly encourages all fans to be vaccinated. A COVID-19 vaccination is the single-most important and successful tool to protect fans from the virus and its many variants. Increased vaccination rates, coupled with proven preventative measures such as masks, physical distancing, self-symptom monitoring, COVID-19 testing and good personal hygiene (e.g. hand washing and hand sanitizer), are the proven tools fans can use to fight COVID-19 and the spread of the disease to others.

All fans should self-evaluate prior to the event or before arriving at the WVU Coliseum. Fans who might be sick or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should stay home and contact a physician.

The athletics department, in conjunction with the Mon. County Health Department, state and University officials will continue monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and make changes to the WVU Coliseum protocols, if needed, based on current health conditions.

No. 19 West Virginia is coming off a 22-7 season in which it finished tied for second in the Big 12 Conference, with a record of 13-5. As the No. 2-seed in the 2021 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship, the Mountaineers collected wins over Kansas State and Oklahoma State to advance to the title game for the third time since joining the league in 2012-13. WVU also made its 13th appearance in the NCAA Tournament a season ago and advanced to the round of 32.

The Mountaineers returns eight student-athletes from last year’s squad, including senior forward Kari Niblack and senior guard Madisen Smith, who will captain the team alongside junior guard KK Deans.

Prior to the start of the 2021-22 campaign, WVU saw three student-athletes selected to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team. Junior forward Esmery Martinez was a unanimous selection to the squad, while Deans and Niblack earned honorable mention status.

West Virginia is led by head coach Mike Carey, who is in his 21st season in Morgantown. As the winningest coach in program history, Carey owns a record of 432-224 at WVU. During his 33 seasons as a head coach, the Clarksburg, West Virginia, native has amassed a career tally of 720-326.

WVU Tech enters Thursday’s contest after going 12-9 a season ago and winning the River States Conference Championship to advance to the NAIA National Championship. The Golden Bears return the senior guards Brittney and Whittney Justice who averaged 15.1 points and 12.7 points per game, respectively, last season.

Tech is led by first-year head coach Roger Hodge, who owns a career record of 262-199.

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