MORGANTOWN - West Virginia's women's basketball team lost yet another game Tuesday night, the sixth in eight games since the team was 19-1, and the reason for this one was pretty simple.
The Mountaineers allowed No. 8 Notre Dame a lot of easy shots, and the Irish made a ton of them.
In fact, Notre Dame managed to shake off a staggering 30 turnovers by shooting 58 percent from the field and handled West Virginia rather easily, winning 72-60 in front of a crowd of 2,593 at the Coliseum.
Mike Carey, of course, watched the whole excruciating 40 minutes. He could have saved himself the trouble and just looked at the boxscore after it was over.
"I think the stats say everything,'' the West Virginia coach said. "You can't let them shoot 58 percent and you shoot 35 percent and expect to win. Sure, we turned them over 30 times, but we couldn't do anything with them.''
For No. 19 West Virginia (21-7, 7-7 Big East) the loss was another in a string of mostly futile performances since the team began the season 16-0 and then 19-1 and was regularly ranked in the Top 10. In fact, despite that strong start the Mountaineers are in danger of finishing in the bottom half of the Big East standings and not earning a first-round bye in the league tournament.
With two games remaining, of course, avoiding that fate is goal No. 1.
"I told them we can't have a losing record in the Big East,'' Carey said. "We're what, 7-7? We can't have a losing record in the Big East.''
Notre Dame (23-5, 12-2) continues to cruise along against any Big East team not named Connecticut. The Irish lost by 21 at UConn over the weekend, but bounced back by working constantly for layups and making 30-of-52 shots from the field. The Irish, the second-best 3-point shooting team in the league, had to attempt just three Tuesday night.
West Virginia, meanwhile, couldn't make shots regardless of the location. The Mountaineers missed inside and out. While Notre Dame was scoring 48 of its 72 points in the paint, WVU had not a single player make more than half her shots. Liz Repella, the team's leading scorer, missed 12 of her 15 shots, including five of her six 3-point attempts.