4.9 Million National TV Audience Watch WVU Women In Close Game

IOWA CITY, Iowa—-Not many figured that the West Virginia Mountaineer Women’s basketball team (25-8) would slow down the nation’s greatest player in scoring in college basketball (Caitlin Clark) Monday night but WVU’s defense did just that. The 64-54 score in a loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes did not indicate how close the game was until the final minutes of the fourth quarter. The Mountaineer defense held the Hawkeyes to just 64 points when the team usually averaged in the 90’s. 

Even though the Mountaineers were seeded in the tournament improperly at 8th, it was a good opportunity for WVU to play in prime time in front of 4.9 million on national television. It was one of the most watched games in Women’s basketball history. Not only was it a record breaking TV audience but the Hawkeye fans packed the home court to see Clark play her last home game. 

“It was the loudest thing I was ever a part of,” WVU head coach Mark Kellogg said describing the sold out house. “Our kids played phenomenal,” he added, referring to his team’s play against Clark and the Hawkeyes, especially on defense. The only Iowa player to hit three pointers was Clark. The Mountaineer defense did not let anyone else get a three pointer. “We made them uncomfortable,” he added. “So much went into the game plan. We had phenomenal defenders.”

Coach Kellogg was asked about the referees calls. He said the frustrating part was the calls were not the same for each team. Comments from fans across the country generally felt that WVU was treated very unfairly. WVU did not get the calls they should have got and the nation noticed it. Some fans predict that the NCAA crew will not do any more refereeing of the tournament this year. 

On a positive note Kellogg said the core group of the WVU team will be back next year. “We got great momentum,” he said. He praised his coaching staff. WVU held the Hawkeyes to scoring just six points in the second quarter. ” I love this group, ” he said, referring to the current team. He said he enjoyed the team this year. “I’m proud to be the coach.”