By Grant Dovey for MSNsportsNET.com
March 9, 2010
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 2-seeded West Virginia women's basketball team was unable to hold off No. 1-seeded , Connecticut, as they were defeated by the Huskies, 60-32, in the Big East Tournament championship game at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn., on Tuesday evening.
It is UConn’s 16th Big East tournament title under coach Geno Auriemma. His No. 1-ranked Huskies have now won 72 consecutive games and were able to shoot 41.8 percent for the game after only shooting 37.5 percent in the first half.
The Mountaineers, however, were off the mark, hitting only 14-of-58 field goals for 24.1 percent. UConn also had a huge advantage on the boards, as they outrebounded the Mountaineers by 27, 49-22.
Junior's Liz Repella, Sarah Miles and Korrine Campbell managed a combined 8-of-27 from the field, including Repella going 1-of-6 from 3-point range. Repella was face guarded by UConn for the majority of the night and had very few clean looks at the basket.
The most important moments of the game came early in the second half after a Tiffany Hayes layup for UConn to put the Huskies up 32-20. The Mountaineers used a 8-0 run starting at the 19:26 mark with a Campbell layup to bring the game to 33-28, the closet WVU was able to get. Five points from Repella, including her lone 3-pointer, and a free throw from sophomore Natalie Burton, capped the run.
UConn managed to go on a 32-4 run to close out the game, while the Mountaineers went 2-of-20 from the field in the final 15 minutes, with UConn shooting 10-of-17 and outrebounding WVU by 15 in the span
Kalana Greene led UConn with 15 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and one steal. Greene had made seven in a row before missing her first shot. Tiffany Hayes also scored 15 points for the Huskies.
A bright spot for West Virginia was the Mountaineers were able to hold UConn's top two scorers, Tina Charles and Maya Moore, to 12 and 10 points, respectively. Charles also had 10 rebounds and four blocks, while Moore had seven rebounds.
Repella led WVU with 10 points. Campbell finished with 6 points and junior Madina Ali grabbed a team-high six rebounds.
Going into halftime with the score in favor of UConn, 30-20, the Mountaineers held Charles and Moore to a combined 3-for-17 shooting in the half. However, West Virginia was only able to shoot 28.1 percent and was outrebounded, 27-13.
UConn went on a 10-0 run starting with a Moore layup at the 14:54 mark that ended with a Miles jumper at the 9:18 mark, her first points of the half. Miles went 1-for-10 in the first half after scoring a season-high 18 points in last night's win.
Toward the end of the half, the Mountaineers began to find their scoring touch, going on a 8-2 run that started with a put-back layup from sophomore Natalie Burton at the 4:05 mark. Burton has provided key minutes off the bench in the last two games.
Sophomore Vanessa House then hit a 3-pointer, followed by a made free throw and a jumper from Liz Repella to end the half.
The Mountaineers will now wait to see where they are seeded in the 2010 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. The selection show will be televised on ESPN on Monday, March 15, at 7 p.m.
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