The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

April 28, 2010

Carey says women’s season was ‘satisfying’

MORGANTOWN — It is very satisfying to coach Mike Carey that in many ways the West Virginia University women’s basketball team had the best season in the program’s history.

“We didn’t have many players coming back and not a lot of people thought we could do as well as we did,” Carey said in reflecting on the Mountaineers’ 29-6 record and second-place finish in the Big East standings and also as conference tournament runner-up. The 29 victories and 13-3 league mark set school records.

But the veteran head coach, while content and proud of his players’ achievements, was not surprised as WVU became a national power in women’s basketball.

“I felt right from the get-go that this was a good group on the floor and off the floor,” said Carey who was named co-coach of the year for the Big East. “They were good people and they worked hard and they got along well together. The chemistry was great.

“So I thought we had a chance to be pretty good this year because of that. The publicity we got, the national ranking (No. 7 in both major polls was highest ever), and more people noticed that.”

Public feedback has been tremendous. People have congratulated the coach and players and most would say, “And you don’t have any seniors on the team.”

While admitting that he wasn’t sure not having a senior on the team was good or bad, he’s very happy everyone will return next season. Two freshmen who were redshirted and three new recruits also will be available in 2010-11.

“People are aware now what we’re doing, what we have coming back and who we have recruited,” Carey noted. “We ought to be on the national scene (next year), and that’s how you get there.”

West Virginia’s award winners were honored recently at the squad’s annual dinner in the Touchdown Terrace.

Junior Liz Repella was named to the Academic All-America team, the All-Big East first team and the league’s all-tournament team. She led the scoring with 13.9 points per game and had 205 rebounds.

Repella started all 35 games and now has a three-year aggregate of 1,141 career points.

Another junior, Sarah Miles, was voted Big East defensive player of the year. She also made the All-Big East second team and joined Repella on the conference’s all-tournament team.

Asya Bussie, who averaged 10.9 points per game, was named to the All-Big East freshman team. She pulled down 194 rebounds, the most ever by a WVU freshman.

Korine Campbell, a transfer junior, received honorable mention in the conference coaches’ balloting. Campbell scored at a 10.5 clip and led the team in rebounds with 257.

The Mountaineers were 17-0 at home for a new high and extended to 19 the school’s longest home winning streak, counting the last two of the 2008-09 season.

Carey guided WVU women to the NCAA Tournament for the third time, but lost in the second round.

He had hoped to build after the first two trips, but he lost four players to major injuries. Now he’s hopeful of solidifying the program with even more success next season.

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