West Virginia Too Much for Colonels

By Steve Stone for MSNsportsNET.com
December 8, 2009


Madina Ali <a href='profile.cfm?sport=wbball&id=101887' class='bodylink'>Asya Bussie</a>
Madina Ali Asya Bussie

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Asya Bussie and Madina Ali were too much inside for Eastern Kentucky as the West Virginia women’s basketball team defeated the Colonels, 60-40, on Tuesday evening at the WVU Coliseum.

Bussie, a freshman center from Randallstown, Md., scored a career-high 19 points on 6 of 11 shooting. Against a much smaller Colonel team, she was the focal point of the offense tonight and put herself in position to score multiple times in the post.

Ali posted another stellar performance, combining with Bussie to give the Mountaineers a 34-4 advantage in the paint. The Williamsport, Pa., native got the Mountaineers (8-1) going early, scoring 12 points and grabbing a game-high eight rebounds.

“She played extremely hard,” coach Mike Carey said of Ali. “She got us going in the beginning. Her energy level was great. They started backing off of her and I don’t know if she thought that she couldn’t shoot and missed a couple, but there are things we have to do when people back off. But her energy level was great, and I’m happy to see her coming on. We’ll get the rest of the girls going here.”

Bussie and Ali combined for slightly more than half of their team’s 60 points, and were largely responsible for West Virginia’s wide lead throughout by grabbing eight of their team’s 15 offensive rebounds. The duo also helped the Mountaineers gain a decisive 14-4 advantage in second chance baskets.

Point guard Sarah Miles managed the game well once again, scoring eight points, dishing out seven assists and tallying five steals. The San Antonio, Texas, native had her second-straight five-steal effort, averaging nearly four per game.

“She sets the tone defensively. She had seven assists again and three turnovers," Carey added. "I think she’s doing a good job at the point guard for never playing it. We’re pretty quick when we have Akeema Richards at the point and Sarah at the two.

West Virginia took comfort in scoring in transition tonight, outscoring Eastern Kentucky 18-0 in fastbreak points. Although WVU is riding a six-game winning streak, Carey is seeking improvement in his team’s execution in half-court sets.

“I thought we came out, got off to a great start and then quit playing,” Carey said. “I told them we’ll have off tomorrow, get on the film and we have to get better in the half-court sets, man-to-man or against the zone. When we get fouled we have to start making some of these foul shots.”

The Mountaineers were tough defensively, forcing 28 turnovers by EKU, the most by an opponent this season. The Colonels (4-4), who came in carrying a four-game winning streak, shot 34.1 percent, including 5 of 16 from 3-point range.

West Virginia fared slightly better from the field, shooting 40 percent (22 of 55). When shots weren’t falling from beyond the arc, WVU made a point to get easy baskets off the break as well as through Bussie and Ali.

Up eight at the half, Bussie opened the Mountaineers’ second-half attack with a layup at 19:44. She fueled WVU on a 12-2 run and scored eight points in seven minutes.

Shakeyia Colyer halted the Bussie scoring streak with a jumper at 12:01 and brought the Colonels to within 16 points, 43-27. A second-straight EKU basket, this time a jumper by Nadia Mossong at 9:56, shortened the Mountaineers’ lead to 43-29, but the Colonels would not get closer than 14 points. WVU closed the game on a 17-11 run.

An Ali jumper at 18:33 sparked an eight-minute onslaught by the Mountaineers, as WVU opened the game on an 18-0 run. Ali remained hot throughout the run and scored eight points in four minutes.

The Colonels closed the gap behind the 3-point arc. Sarah Fraser-Jones’ 3-pointer at 11:20 opened EKU’s scoring, and in six minutes the Colonels got to within 11 points, 26-15, off of three more 3-pointers and three foul shots.

The half’s final five minutes were plagued by turnovers, as the two teams combined for seven and the Colonels were able to reduce the Mountaineers’ lead to eight points, 31-23, by intermission.

Brittany Coles led the EKU scoring effort with 14 points.

The Mountaineers return to action Saturday, Dec. 12, and play host to Longwood at the WVU Coliseum at 2 p.m.

GAME NOTES: West Virginia has held its last three opponents to under 40 points ... junior guard Liz Repella scored eight points tonight, snapping her streak of double-figure performances at 13 dating back to last season ... the Mountaineers have won by double-digits in their last four games and in six of nine contests this season ... Sarah Miles entered the game 18th nationally with 6.9 assists per game and recorded seven more against EKU ... West Virginia held the Colonels scoreless from two-point range until Shakeyia Colyer's jumper with 4:08 left before halftime made it 26-17 ... Eastern Kentucky's 28 turnovers were the most forced by WVU since Seton Hall tallied 30 on Feb. 4, 2009.

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