By Steve Stone for MSNsportsNET.com
December 2, 2009
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University women’s basketball team put on a defensive clinic in its 64-28 victory over Radford on Wednesday evening at the WVU Coliseum.
The Mountaineers (6-1) used their aggressive man-to-man defense in forcing Radford into several difficult shots, as well as minimizing its drives to the basket. West Virginia’s effort tonight on the defensive end resulted in the fourth-lowest point total by an opponent in school history, as well as the second-lowest shooting percentage (16.7) by an opponent.
Junior guard Sarah Miles had a stat-stuffing performance, scoring 12 points, tying a career-high with nine assists, and adding four rebounds and four steals. Liz Repella had her 40th career-double figure performance with a game-high 13 points on 6 of 9 shooting, and forward Korinne Campbell added 10 points.
Redshirt junior Madina Ali posted a career-high 10 rebounds, helping West Virginia gain a 41-28 edge on the glass. WVU, however, gave up 15 offensive rebounds to a Highlander (0-5) team that was undersized.
"Sarah started getting some steals and some layups at the other end, and that’s what really broke it open," coach Mike Carey said. "Against other teams you’re not going to get that. We didn’t execute well enough in our half-court sets and gave up too many offensive rebounds to a team that doesn’t have anyone over 6-feet. That stuff can’t happen."
The win gives WVU the 1-0 edge in its series with Radford. Additionally, it is the second victory of 30 points or more this season for West Virginia, opening the year by defeating Towson, 79-42, in the WNIT Tournament.
All 10 players saw action on the floor tonight, with everyone getting into the scoring column. Redshirt freshman forward Jessica Capers scored her first two points as a Mountaineer on two free throws with 37 seconds left, while freshman Antishia Wright added two points on a fastbreak jumper with 4:44 remaining.
Sophomore Natalie Burton was West Virginia’s leading scorer off the bench, tallying six points in 15 minutes and adding four rebounds.
The Mountaineers’ physicality proved to be the difference, scoring 36 points in the paint to the Highlanders’ eight. Additionally, WVU shot over 50 percent from the floor (51 percent) for the second time this season.
Up 31-16 at the half, the Mountaineers needed less than three minutes to push their lead to 21 points, as an Asya Bussie free throw at 17:11 gave WVU a commanding 40-19 lead. The Mountaineers would end the game on a 24-9 run.
Campbell set the tone early for WVU, nailing a 3-pointer 59 seconds into the game and affording WVU a lead it would not relinquish. From there, the Mountaineers went on an 8-0 run before Kaylyn Crosier scored the Highlanders’ first two points with a jumper at 13:29.
Campbell continued to score at will for WVU, and through the game’s first 10 minutes, the Princeton, N.J., native paced all scorers with eight points.
The Mountaineers led by as many as 16 three times in the first stanza, the last at 22-6 at 8:48, but seven WVU turnovers in the half’s final seven minutes allowed RU to go on a 14-9 run and bring itself to within 15 points at intermission.
"We've got to get better," Carey added. "I said Ohio State was good practice film. This is going to be good film for us tomorrow. Our team has to learn.
"We were a couple steps too slow tonight. What is frustrating is we had two great practices with high intense effort, and then we come here tonight and it seems like it caught up with us."
Radford guard Denay Wood led the Highlanders with 10 points.
WVU continues its homestand this Saturday, Dec. 5, and plays host to Maine at noon at the WVU Coliseum.