Path To The Postseason

As the regular season comes to a close, many college basketball teams have a hard time not overlooking their final games as they prepare for conference and post season tournaments. However, the West Virginia women's basketball team is making sure that they don't look past their final two games against Marquette and Syracuse before preparing for the Big East tournament.

In fact, before the Mountaineers can makes some history before tournament time even rolls around. A win over Marquette on Saturday would put West Virginia tied with the school record for total wins. It would also make the Mountaineers undefeated at home for just the second time in school history. However, head coach Mike Carey says that his team is just looking for the victory, not to break records.

"I don't think it's the most important thing but it will give us another Big East win," said Coach Carey. "That is probably what is most important, that we get another Big East win. As this season started going along, we definitely wanted to finish in the top four when we saw we had the possibility of doing that. Now that we have the opportunity to win our last home game and go undefeated at home, that would be unbelievable."

Although the team is trying to look at the Marquette as just another game, the history that they can make with a victory over the Golden Eagles is undoubtedly in the back of their minds.

"It feels great to be part of history," said junior forward Korinne Campbell. "We will be able to look back and come back when we're older and know that we were part of that team that did this, that, and the other. These next few games are very important. The games that we played from before won't mean anything at all unless we win these next two games. Having the second seed in the Big East tournament is big because we get that bye and we get a chance to play in the finals."

Just like his players, Carey's mindset seems to be on seeding for the Big East tournament, which begins on March 5th. If the Mountaineers are able to clinch their final two victories of the season, they will finish in the top four of their conference for the third time in the past four years.

"They have told me they are aware that if they win this game they will go undefeated [at home] for the first time in school history," said Carey. "I have tried to make them aware that we need a couple more wins to finish in the top two in the Big East conference. That's more important to me right now, seeding in the Big East tournament."

Campbell, a transfer from Minnesota, will be getting her first taste of the Big East tournament this season. As a longtime fan of the conference, she is looking forward to the opportunity to face off against some of the top teams in the country.

"I'm very excited for [the tournament]," said Campbell. "I've been watching the Big East tournament for years and now I get to play in it. It's always a great environment. With the NCAA [tournament] coming up, I did get to experience it for a little bit but I think [this year] is going to be a greater experience and we will go a lot farther."

However, before tournament play begins, the Mountaineers must play host to Marquette on Saturday in their final home game of the year. While Marquette is not coming into Morgantown with the best record, they have a history of giving the Mountaineers a hard time. Campbell realizes what her team will have to do to get the victory over the Golden Eagles.

"I have seen [Marquette] on tape but I honestly believe that we're the better team and we need to go out there and prove it," said Campbell. "They're very active. On defense, they get after the ball and pressure very hard. We have to keep our composure and fight through it. The main thing is that we have to score. They score a lot of points and we have to be right there with them."

While many teams will be celebrating their final home game as senior night this week, the Mountaineers will not be acknowledging any upperclassmen during the pregame ceremonies on Saturday. WVU has built its impressive record and high nation ranking without a final-year player on the roster.

"It's very exciting [having no seniors]," said Campbell. "It lets people know what to look forward to for the future next year. Hopefully we will get even more fans in the stands next year. It will be the same exact team next year , with some new players coming in."


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