Repella Leads WVU Past Friars

By Steve Stone for
February 6, 2010
  Liz Repella  

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Liz Repella poured in 20 first-half points and her teammates did the rest as the eighth-ranked West Virginia University women’s basketball team defeated Providence, 75-59, on Saturday afternoon at the Dunkin Donuts Center.

Repella, a junior guard from Steubenville, Ohio, netted a season-high 25 points on 9 of 13 shooting. She made all four of her 3-point attempts to help achieve her 15th career 20-point game.

Repella also tallied her 14th career double-double after pulling down 10 rebounds. Joining her was freshman center Asya Bussie, who had her first career double-double in conference play with 12 points and 11 rebounds, as well as three blocked shots.

Eight West Virginia players got on the scoreboard during today’s contest. Korinne Campbell was WVU’s third double-figure scorer with 10 points, while freshman Akeema Richards and redshirt junior Madina Ali each chipped in with six points.

Junior point guard Sarah Miles finished with eight points, but made a much larger impact on her team’s performance by not forcing any turnovers in 35 minutes. In 26 minutes, redshirt junior Vanessa House came off the bench to add five points, five rebounds and a team-high five assists.

The Mountaineers (21-3, 8-2) got the job done once again on the glass, outrebounding the Friars (13-10, 4-6) 42-30 overall. WVU is now 18-0 this season when it outrebounds an opponent, which helped lead to 23 second-chance points compared to 11 by Providence.

As a team, the Mountaineers garnered just four steals and five blocked shots, but still managed to get 14 points off turnovers – a staple of their game plan. WVU was relentless on offense, getting to the basket for 26 points in the paint and shooting 62.5 percent (5 of 8) on 3-point field goal attempts.

The Friars became the 19th Mountaineer opponent to be held to under 60 points this season, shooting 40 percent (24 of 60) for the contest. Senior guard Chelsea Marandola scored 16 points and junior Mi-Khida Hankins chipped in 11. Providence made just 2 of 14 3-point field goals.

A 17-point advantage went to WVU in points at the free throw line, as the Mountaineers made 26 of 35 attempts. The Friars were 9 of 17 from the charity stripe. WVU’s 35 free-throw attempts were its most from the free throw line since garnering 36 chances against USF in a 90-75 victory on Feb. 21, 2009.

WVU shot 41.5 percent overall, getting off to a propitious start in the first half by making nearly 60 percent of its shots. The Mountaineers stayed even with Providence in the second half, with both teams scoring 27 points.

After missing its first six shots from the floor, WVU nailed 16 of its next 22 shot attempts to take a 48-32 lead at halftime. WVU’s 48 first-half points were its second-most in a half this season, behind its 49 points in the second half against Maine on Dec. 5.

Repella displayed her marksmanship with 20 points on 7 of 9 shooting, including 3 of 3 from 3-point range. Her 3-pointer with 4:18 remaining before halftime eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for her career, and gave West Virginia a 39-28 lead. She becomes the 27th player in school history to reach the milestone.

WVU shot 57.1 percent from the floor, while Providence was held to 44.8 percent shooting. Freshman point guard Akeema Richards helped spell some minutes for Miles by contributing with five points on 2 of 2 shooting.

The Friars raced out to a 13-5 lead just over four minutes into the game, but WVU countered with 16-3 run that culminated with a Repella jumper to make it 21-16. Repella added another long-distance shot with 6:22 left to stretch the Mountaineer lead to 34-22, but Marandola’s fast-break layup with 5:05 left cut the lead to 34-27.

The Mountaineers finished the first half on a critical 14-5 run, highlighted by four made free throws by Ali. Richards picked up a steal and fastbreak layup with 1:37 remaining, and Repella continued her hot shooting by hitting another 3-pointer with 11 seconds left before halftime.

WVU has now won five straight over Providence dating back to the 2006-07 season. With six regular-season games left as well as remaining postseason contests, the Mountaineers need six more victories to break the school’s single-season wins mark, set by the 1991-92 team that went 26-4.

West Virginia goes on a week-long hiatus before returning with a home matchup against No. 16 Georgetown on Sunday, Feb. 14. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m., with the game being part of the “Pink Zone” initiative designed to raise breast cancer awareness. All fans are encouraged to don their pink gear at the game.

Next Sunday’s contest is also televised on ESPNU.


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