Climbers ready for the 2022 Cancun Challenge

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University women’s basketball travels to Cancun, Mexico on November 24-25 for a back-to-back contest against Central Michigan and No. 13 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, November 24 against CMU at 6:30 p.m. ET before closing the game on Friday, November 25 against NCSU at 4:00 p.m. Both matchups will be streamed live on Mountaineer Sports Network, including 100.9 WSZT-FM, with David Kahn speaking. Fans can also listen to the game through the Varsity Network app.

Additionally, the 2022 Cancun Challenge will be broadcast on FloHoops. Live stats and match 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 November 28-29, 2019 event. In the two-day tournament, the climbers 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 in those two competitions.

West Virginia and Central Michigan meet for the second time on Thursday. The WVU is 0-1 all time against the CMU, the first meeting of the two teams takes place on March 11, 1976. Michigan.

Central Michigan goes into the Cancun Challenge with a record of 0-4 (0-0 MAC). His losses include Valparaiso (71-64), Oakland (71-60), Indiana State (84-71) and Michigan State (84-54).

The Chippewas boast four players who are averaging 8.3 points or more this season, including Sydney Harris, who is averaging 13.8 points per game. Jahari Smith leads the team in the rebound department with 5.8 boards per game.

West Virginia and NC State meet for the first time Friday. NC State goes into the Cancun Challenge with a record of 4-1 (0-0 ACC).

Last time out, the wolf pack fell on then-#5 UConn, 91-69, on Nov. 20 at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut.

NC State has four players who are averaging at least nine points per game this season, including three double-digit scorers. Diamond Johnson leads the team with 12.6 points per game and is also the team’s pace with 18 assists. River Baldwin leads the Wolfpack’s rebound efforts at 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 guided them to a 226-70 record.

The Mountaineers are entering the Cancun Challenge on a three-game winning streak, including two wins last week. WVU defeated Winthrop 70-48 at the WVU Coliseum on November 17 before recording a 72-51 win over Appalachian State on November 20.

Fifth year Senior Guard Madison Smith led the squad by 15 points against Winthrop while junior forward Kylee Blacksten beat the Mountaineers with a career-high 18 points and eight rebounds against App State.

In three games, Smith leads the team with an average of 13.0 points per game. Sophomore Guard JJ Quinerley (10.3) and Senior Guard Jayla Hemingway (10.0) are also double digits on average.

The Mountaineers have beaten their opponents by 223-130 points so far this season and forced 91 turnovers (30.3 per game).

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