MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – No. 10/11 West Virginia women’s basketball team defeated Delaware State, 66-31, on Friday night at the WVU Coliseum.
With the win, the Mountaineers (3-0) improve their all-time home winning streak over non-conference foes to 55-3, and increase their winning record to 8-1 over teams that are members of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
The Mountaineers held the Lady Hornets (0-1) to 11 points in the first half, the first time they have done so since January 12, 1991 in a game against Massachusetts. They were also able to hold Delaware State to 10 percent (3-of-30) from the field and 20 percent (1-of-5) from three-point range during the first half.
“Madina (Ali) and I were talking and it felt like everything was really clicking in the first half,” said Liz Repella. “It felt like how we played last year with the switches and being able to get up the lanes and really all being on the same page. Communication is a big thing and when we can communicate like that we can hold teams.”
Madina Ali led the team in scoring for the second- straight game, with 13 points on the night, while Vanessa House and Liz Repella finished the game close behind, scoring ten points each. Sarah Miles continued to show improvement from her wrist injury, playing with more confidence, as she scored eight points and had five assists, while also collecting two steals and two boards.
“I thought Sarah did better today,” Carey said. “She scored some and used her right hand a lot more, so that was a good sign.”
With the team taking the lead early and playing tough defense, Carey was able to get all of his players playing time, with each athlete earning at least seven minutes if not more.
“Needless to say, going down the stretch in a close game, we will use the experience,” he remarked. “We have to get those young kids in there to see what they can and can’t do. They won’t improve unless they play.
“Jessica Harlee plays hard,” he continued. “I complimented her on that. She is the one diving on the floor. She plays what we like to see people play; hard and up the lane. I also thought Vanessa came off the bench to do some good things, and Tonia Williams came in and showed she can really score for us.”
West Virginia jumped ahead to an early lead from the beginning of the game and never looked back, going into halftime with a 34-11 lead over the Lady Hornets. Shooting with 75 percent (6-of-8) accuracy from the charity stripe, and finishing the first half with 48 percent accuracy (13-of-27) from the field, the Mountaineers proved their dominance early.
The game marked the season opener for Delaware State, who was led by sophomore guard/forward Crystal Pitt, who had six points in 12 minutes of play, and freshman guard/forward Deanna Harmon who scored five points and grabbed four rebounds in 34 minutes of play. Sophomore forward Kianna D’Oliveira and junior center Alexis Johnson followed with four points each.
The Mountaineers also set a school record in fan attendance, averaging over 3,000 fans for the month of November for the first time in school history.
West Virginia will return to action on Thursday, Nov. 25 at 1 p.m. in a game against nationally ranked TCU. The game will take place in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and marks the opening game of the Paradise Jam Tournament. All of West Virginia’s Paradise Jam tournament games will be streamed live online by Basketball Travelers Inc. and Fox Sports Net (FSN), and will be available after a one-time fee of $4.99.