The West Virginia University women’s basketball travels to Cancun, Mexico, from Nov. 24-25, for a pair of contests against Central Michigan and No. 13 NC State in the 2022 Cancun Challenge.
Both games will be played at the Hard Rock Resort Riviera Maya in Cancun. WVU opens the event on Thursday, Nov. 24, against CMU at 6:30 p.m. ET, before wrapping up play on Friday, Nov. 25, against NCSU at 4 p.m. Both matchups will be broadcast live on the Mountaineer Sports Network, including 100.9 WSZT-FM, with David Kahn on the call. Fans also can listen to the game on the Varsity Network App.
Additionally, the 2022 Cancun Challenge will be broadcast on FloHoops. Live stats and game notes will be available on WVUsports.com.
West Virginia (3-0, 0-0 Big 12) is 1-1 all-time in the Cancun Challenge, with its first appearance at the event coming from Nov. 28-29, 2019. In the two-day tournament, the Mountaineers topped New Mexico (73-60) and fell to Creighton (82-75).
In those games, West Virginia saw six double-digit scoring games from its team. Guard Kysre Gondrezick led the team in 2019, with 14.5 points per game across those two contests.
West Virginia and Central Michigan meet for the second time on Thursday. WVU is 0-1 all-time against CMU, with the first meeting between the two teams coming on March 11, 1976. The Chippewas earned their lone victory over the Mountaineers by a score of 90-64 at Finch Fieldhouse in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.
Central Michigan comes into the Cancun Challenge with a record of 0-4 (0-0 MAC). Its losses include Valparaiso (71-64), Oakland (71-60), Indiana State (84-71) and Michigan State (84-54).
The Chippewas feature four players who are averaging 8.3 points or better this season, including Sydney Harris, who is averaging a team-high 13.8 points per game. Jahari Smith leads the team in the rebounding department at 5.8 boards per game.
West Virginia and NC State meet for the first time on Friday. NC State enters the Cancun Challenge with a record of 4-1 (0-0 ACC).
Last time out, the Wolfpack fell to then-No. 5 UConn, 91-69, on Nov. 20, at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut.
NC State features four players who are averaging at least nine points per game this season, including three double-digit scorers. Diamond Johnson leads the team in scoring at 12.6 points per game and also paces the squad in assists, with 18. River Baldwin leads the Wolfpack’s rebounding efforts, with 6.6 boards per game.
NC State is led by coach Wes Moore, who holds a career record of 784-239. In his 10 seasons with the Wolfpack, he has led them to a record of 226-70.
The Mountaineers enters the Cancun Challenge on a three-game win streak, including a pair of wins last week. WVU topped Winthrop, 70-48, on Nov. 17, at the WVU Coliseum, before it recorded a 72-51 win over Appalachian State on Nov. 20.
Fifth-year senior guard Madisen Smith led the squad with 15 points against Winthrop, while junior forward Kylee Blacksten paced the Mountaineers with a career-high 18 points and eight rebounds against App State.
Through three games, Smith leads the team with a 13.0 points-per-game average. Sophomore guard JJ Quinerly (10.3) and senior guard Jayla Hemingway (10.0) also are averaging double figures in scoring.
The Mountaineers have outscored their opponents 223-130 so far this season and have forced 91 turnovers (30.3 per game).