Mountaineers Take on Rutgers

By John Antonik for
February 15, 2010


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Eighth-ranked West Virginia has little time to reflect on its 55-46 victory over 16th-ranked Georgetown on Sunday. That’s because the Mountaineers face perennial Big East heavyweight Rutgers Tuesday night at the WVU Coliseum.

  Junior guard Liz Repella leads the Mountaineers with an average of 14.6 points per game.
All-Pro Photography/Dale Sparks photo

“This is what is going to happen come tournament time,” said West Virginia coach Mike Carey. “We’ve got to recover quickly and we’ve got to be ready to play and be focused. That’s all we can do.”

The Scarlet Knights bring a 15-10 record and a modest three-game winning streak into Morgantown Tuesday night.

Most recently, Rutgers knocked off Villanova 49-36 in Philadelphia on Saturday. Brittany Ray scored 14 points and Rutgers limited Villanova to just 30% shooting in the 13-point victory.

Ray, a 5-foot-9 senior guard from Bronx, N.Y., is the only Rutgers player averaging double figures at 15 points per game. She has taken the most shots (314), the most 3-point shots (114) and the most free throws (114) of anyone on the team.

Yet Carey notes that Rutgers has been utilizing inside players Chelsey Lee (6.7 ppg.), Monique Oliver (5.6 ppg.) and Myia McCurdy (4.0 ppg.) more frequently in recent wins over Villanova, Seton Hall and USF.

“The last three games they have won (Ray) has been taking a lot of shots but they have been going inside a lot,” said Carey. “They have been using a little bit more of a power game then they have been.”

West Virginia will be the 11th nationally ranked team Rutgers has faced this year. The Scarlet Knights are 2-8 in games against ranked teams, knocking off No. 19 Mississippi State on Nov. 27 and No. 22 Pitt on Jan. 10. Both teams have since departed from the polls.

On Sunday, West Virginia enhanced its NCAA tournament resume with a nine-point win over the Hoyas at the Coliseum.

The Mountaineers boosted their overall record to 22-3 (15-0 at home this year) with a tenacious defensive performance that limited the Hoyas to just 23.1% shooting for the game. Georgetown was held to a season-low 19 first-half points and the Mountaineers finished the game with a 10-rebound advantage on the glass.

West Virginia got 11 points from leading scorer Liz Repella and 11 points off the bench from 6-foot-5 sophomore center Natalie Burton – eight more than Burton’s season average.

Repella is one of three Mountaineers averaging double figures at 14.6 points per game. Freshman center Asya Bussie shows averages of 11.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game, while junior forward Korinne Campbell is averaging 10.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.

Korinne is a Princeton, N.J., resident and the younger sister of former Rutgers forward Michelle Campbell.

Carey says Rutgers will pose some of the same problems Georgetown presented West Virginia on Sunday.

“I don’t think they are as quick as Georgetown but they are probably stronger,” he said. “They are more physical as far as their inside players.”

Tuesday’s game will be the 49th meeting between the two schools. Rutgers has won seven of the last 11 games and owns a 38-10 record against the Mountaineers. Last year in Piscataway, Rutgers defeated West Virginia 60-44.

Tuesday’s game will tip at 7 p.m. and will be televised nationally on CBS College Sports Network.

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