Women's Basketball Building Confidence

Head women's basketball coach Mike Carey believes a number of factors have been at play in West Virginia's six game winning streak.

"We've been playing better, especially on the road, and we feel very fortunate to have won five straight conference games," Carey noted as he analyzed his team's winning streak, which is now at six games including the blasting of in-state foe Marshall. "We are playing with a lot more confidence.

"Once you win a couple of games, you start feeling 'We can do this'," Carey said of his team's outlook as they built their winning streak. "I think that once our team realized that two of our post players wouldn't be able to play this year, they recognized that they just needed tow in games with the players we had available. Also, we only have nine players on the bench, so everyone is getting to play, and that helps too. That has made us even stronger."

Carey isn't getting too caught up in the winning streak, however. He chuckled when asked about possible postseason play for his team, which is currenlty tied for second place in the conference.

"For me to be talking about the NCAA or NIT - we're still a long way off from that. We've been fortunate to get on our run, but we have the tough part of our schedule coming up. Our program isn't at the level of some of the others in the conference just yet, so we need to worry about Providence (WVU's next game on Wednesday) and take them one at a time. Right now, we're just concentrating on making the Big East tournament. We have a tough road ahead, and we need to keep improving."


Carey's team has been hit hard by injuries, a streak that has extended throughout his tenure at WVU.

"We had 2 of our inside players (Ramika McGee and Yelena Leuchanka) injured with ACLs this year, and both of them were on court injuries," Carey explained. "They just made a cut and it happened. This is the fourth one we've had since I've been here."

In the absence of those inside strengths, Carey has played freshman Meg Bulger as an interior defender this year, to very good results. After overcoming a pair of injuries of her own, Bulger has become the top freshman player in the conference, with three straight freshman of the weke awards.

"Meg been doing a great job for us. She missed six games due to ankle injuries is just now staring to get into game shape and get comfortable with the other players," Carey noted. "She can defend post and also step out and shoot the three. That has helped the offense and given us other scoring options."

Senior guard Kate Bulger has started every game since her freshman season, a streak of 103 straight games - the longest among active Big East players and the fifth longest streak in the nation.

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Yolanda Paige is second in the nation in assists (7.84).

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The Mountaineers' 6-2 start in conference play ties for their best conference start ever after eight games. WVU's current five game Big East win streak ties for their most consecutive conference games won as well.

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