WVU Women, Marshall to Battle in Charleston

  • By Katie Kane
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  • December 03, 2012 03:59 PM
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia women’s basketball team is set for a 7 p.m. tipoff with Marshall in the Chesapeake Energy Capital Classic at the Charleston Civic Center on Tuesday.

“It’s always great to get back here. We had a great crowd here last year and hopefully we will have a great crowd here this year too,” coach Mike Carey says. “It’s a good game. It is a rival between two state schools, it is a great game to have and we always look forward to it.”

The teams enter the 52nd meeting in a series dating back to 1974. The Capital Classic has typically been played in mid- to late January, and this season’s game is the first time it will be played in December since the 1996-97 season. WVU leads the all-time series with Marshall 35-16 and has defeated the Thundering Herd in the last seven outings.

Marshall is 4-3 overall this season under first-year head coach Matt Daniel. The Thundering Herd enter Tuesday’s game off a 59-51 win over Presbyterian College on Saturday, after falling to Jackson State 67-63 on Friday as part of the EKU Comfort Suites Tournament in Richmond, Ky.

Sophomore Shay Weaver led the team to victory as she had back-to-back games with five 3-pointers, earning a spot on the All-Tournament Team.

Like the Mountaineers (4-2), Marshall is defensive-minded, holding opponents to only 56.4 points per game to go along with limiting opponents 36.7 percent from the field, while making 41.6 percent of its own shots.

With the help of Weaver, who leads the team in 3-point shooting with a 41.5 3-point field goal percentage (22-53), Marshall averages 7.0 3-pointers per game. Weaver leads the team in scoring as she averages 12.7 points per game.

Chukwuka Ezeigbo is second on the team in scoring with 8.9 points per game and leads the team in rebounding with 6.4 rebounds per game. Ezeigbo is also the team’s blocked shots leader with 15 blocks this season.

Suporia Dickens and Orlandria Williams round out Marshall’s top three scorers as each averages 7.0 points per game.Dickens is second on the team, along with Veronica Ruiz in rebounding with 5.4 rebounds per game.

“They are very organized and well coached,” Carey says. “They have some athletes, have some shooters and have a couple post players that can score in the paint. We will change it up a little defensively and I think it will be a good game.”

WVU enters Tuesday’s game off a 54-47 win at Virginia. Junior guard Christal Caldwell used 17 points in the second half, including a 9-0 run to give the Mountaineers the lead for the final time over the Cavaliers. Fellow classmate Taylor Palmer recorded her third-consecutive game in double figures as she put up 11 points. The pair combined for four of WVU’s five total 3-pointers.

Palmer leads the team in scoring with 11.0 points per game, while Caldwell adds 10.3 points per game. Senior Ayana Dunning rounds out the top three scorers for WVU with 9.7 points per game and is also the team’s leading rebounder with 7.0 rebounds per game. Off the bench, Crystal Leary and Bria Holmes each average 6.7 points per game to round out WVU’s top five scorers, while Leary is also the second-leading rebounder with 6.2 boards per game.

Tuesday’s game will air live throughout West Virginia on WVPBS with Hoppy Kercheval and Sarah Evans-Moore on the call. Fans can also listen to the game live on WAJR. Live stats and a recap of the game can be found at WVUsports.com.

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