The key for WVU women’s basketball junior J.J. Quinerly is aggression. She knows that sometimes that’s what it takes to win a basketball game.
After she paced the Mountaineers with a career-high 31 points last Saturday during a win against Iowa State, she knew aggression had once again been a deciding factor in the win. It also played a role in why Quinerly stood out as a star in the matchup.
“I think that coming out of the locker room, we all talked about it, and we just knew we had to come out here and be aggressive and get this W,” Quinerly said after the Iowa State win. “So really just coming out, being aggressive, looking for my shot, just being confident in myself, so that was good for me.”
"I think that coming out of the locker room, we all talked about it, and we just knew we had to come out here and be aggressive and get this W."- J.J. Quinerly
Quinerly would come out just a few days later against UCF and drop 26-points in the team’s follow-up performance, helping lead her squad to yet another win. The Mountaineers now sit at 18-2 overall on the season — and in large part due to Quinerly, who averages 19.5 points, 3.6 assists, and 3.25 steals per game.
Part of Quinerly’s recipe is her astounding skill at creating just enough room in one-on-one situations to deftly penetrate towards the basket and find positions to score, which WVU head coach Mark Kellogg believes she does as well as anyone.
“She was ready for this one, and I kind of even felt it in practice the last couple of days,” Kellogg said after the Iowa State game. “She had space, and when she can find some space, she’s as good as any kid — she can get into any gap, little bitty small gaps.”
Those abilities can also be seen in the highlight video below from Women's Hoops Masterclass, a media company dedicated to analysis of top NCAA women's players and WNBA draft prospects. On the video, which showcases a performance against Pittsburgh in November 2023, you can see Quinerly create multiple scoring opportunities via dribble penetration. She was the third-leading scorer for the Mountaineers in that victory.
"She was ready for this one, and I kind of even felt it in practice the last couple of days. She had space, and when she can find some space, she’s as good as any kid — she can get into any gap, little bitty small gaps."- Mark Kellogg
Quinerly also has found success in turning her aggression on the defensive side of the court into offensive production. She managed five steals against Iowa State following a season-high eight steals in the previous game with Cincinnati. Those turnovers often lead to scoring opportunities and a momentum shift for Quinerly and her team.
“I love defense — defense leads to offense,” Quinerly said. “Them easy points I can get off a steal, just seeing the ball go into the hoop, and then, it keeps going. It gives me a rhythm to hit threes, jumpers, all that.”
Quinerly’s last two performances led to her first and third-highest scoring games this season, and she will look to keep the magic going tonight as WVU travels to BYU for Big 12 action. Tip-off tonight is scheduled for 6 p.m., and the game will be available to watch on ESPN+.