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Barring any setbacks, J.J. Quinerly likely to play for WVU in the Big 12 tournament

Mar. 4—MORGANTOWN — With a sore knee and a history of playing through pain, it's likely J.J. Quinerly will be in West Virginia's lineup Friday night when the Mountaineers play in the Big 12 tournament.

"She's day-to-dayish, " WVU head coach Mark Kellogg said Monday. "That doesn't mean she could play tomorrow, but it probably looks a little better now than what we were thinking after the game."

Quinerly banged her right knee against teammate Kylee Blacksten in the opening minutes of the second half last Saturday against TCU.

WVU STATS WVU held on for a 57-49 victory without her to finish in a three-way tie for fourth place in the Big 12. The Mountaineers (23-6, 12-6 Big 12) fell to the No. 6 seed in the league tournament because of the tiebreaker.

WVU, which lost three of its last four games in the regular season, also dropped out of the AP Top 25 Monday, but is No. 22 in the NCAA's NET rankings.

As for Quinerly, it's believed she's dealing with a deep bruise.

"I don't know what you would technically diagnose it as, " Kellogg said. "It's a knee injury. We got some imaging, but we're waiting for some other results to determine the severity of it. I think it's on the lesser side. Hopefully we can dodge a long-term bullet."

It's the second consecutive season Quinerly, a likely first-team all-Big 12 player who averages 19.4 points per game, has had to deal with pain late in the season.

She severely twisted her ankle in the Big 12 tournament last season, only to come back and play 37 minutes against Arizona in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

"She'll have an opportunity to play here, sooner rather than later, I think, " Kellogg said.

The Mountaineers will travel to Kansas City, Mo. not knowing who their first opponent will be.

Cincinnati and UCF play Thursday night in the play-in round. The winner will play WVU at 9 p.m. Friday inside the T-Mobile Center.

"As we get to Wednesday or Thursday, we'll start to put in the game plan and then tweak it once you know who you're going to play, " Kellogg said. "They are somewhat similar teams, so the game plan doesn't have to change a ton based on who you play."

WVU went 2-0 against both teams during the regular season.

The Mountaineers are currently projected as a No. 7 seed in the NCAA tournament, but a good week in Kansas City could certainly move them up.

If WVU wins on Friday, it would advance to face 16th-ranked Kansas State on Saturday.

Aside from a 21-point loss against Texas, WVU played well against the top four seeds in the Big 12.

WVU beat Oklahoma, the No. 1 seed, and split two games against Iowa State, the No. 4 seed.

The Mountaineers took Kansas State—the No. 3 seed—to overtime on the road before losing by nine points.

"We've been in just about every single game and had opportunities to win, " Kellogg said. "I think we go in with a lot of confidence knowing we can play and beat most teams in this league."