COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Basketball season is officially over for the Mountaineers.
WVU women’s basketball’s first trip to the NCAA Tournament under head coach Dawn Plitzuweit was short-lived. No. 10-seed West Virginia fell to seventh-seeded Arizona 75-62 Friday in the first round.
The Wildcats led from wire to wire, but West Virginia stayed competitive for most of the ballgame. The Mountaineers trailed by seven at halftime, but cut that deficit to three on multiple occasions in the third period.
But WVU went cold for a lengthy period in the second half, ultimately dooming its bid for an upset. After a JJ Quinerly jumper made it 55-50 with 3:33 left, the Mountaineers did not convert a field goal for the next 6:48 of game action.
By the time Kyah Watson ended that cold snap by draining a 3-pointer with 6:45 to go, the Wildcats had bolstered their lead to 68-54. They led by double digits the rest of the way.
As a team, the Mountaineers shot 31.3 percent from the field, but converted just 23.5 percent of their attempts in the second half. They also made just 20.8 percent of their 3-point tries.
Arizona was paced by a game-high 25 points from Cate Reese. Former Mountaineer Esmery Martinez recorded a double-double for the Wildcats with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Quinerly led the way for West Virginia with 19 points while Watson added 15. In her final game for the Old Gold and Blue, fifth-year guard Madisen Smith scored seven points, collected three boards and dished out four assists.
WVU women’s basketball concludes the season with a 19-12 overall record.
Plitzuweit is the only head coach in program history to earn an NCAA Tournament bid in their debut season in Morgantown.
On Thursday, the Mountaineer men lost to Maryland by two in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, after a last-second heave hit the front of the rim.