Women to Battle Duquesne

  • By Julie Brown
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  • November 16, 2010 02:55 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – The 10th ranked West Virginia women’s basketball team will play host to Duquesne on Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m.

The game marks the 31st meeting between the teams, with the Mountaineers taking the last 10 games to remain undefeated against the Dukes under current head coach Mike Carey. The Mountaineers are 53-3 all-time at home in non-conference play under Carey, and hold a 131-101 record all-time against teams hailing from the Atlantic 10 Conference.

Duquesne (1-0) is coming off a strong performance in a season opening 70-65 win over Lehigh. Freshman guard/forward Orsi Szecksi was dangerous in the win, scoring a team-high 19 points on 5-of-9 shooting, while pulling down six boards. She was recently named the Atlantic 10 Conference Women’s Basketball Rookie of the Week for her performance.

Other scoring threats come from junior guard Vanessa Abel, senior forward Samantha Pollino, and senior forward Kelly Britcher, as the trio each reached double figures against Lehigh. Abel also tied with Szecki in rebounds, pulling down six of her own.

“Duquesne is a team that does a lot of different things defensively,” Carey said. “They’re a team that keeps changing up the defense to get the offense confused. They’re going to change up a lot on us, so it’s good that we’ll have Sarah (Miles) back because of that, and Brooke (Hampton) will also pick up on the changing styles.

“They can also score; they scored 40 points in the first half against Lehigh, and then came out the second half and did well,” he continued. “They have the capability to put up some points. They’re going to be a better team, so we’re going to have to play better against them.”

The addition of senior guard Sarah Miles, out for last week’s opener while recovering from wrist surgery, will help the Mountaineers on both ends of the floor. The 2010 BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year finished the season with 95 steals and 200 assists, both leading the conference. She also ranked 24th nationally in steals per game, and 11th nationally in assists per game.

“We’re going to play her on Wednesday,” commented Carey. “She’s been cleared by the doctors and our athletic trainers. She’s a little sore, like we knew she would be, and she’s going to be rusty at first because she hasn’t been able to practice for a long time, but just having her on the floor will make us a better team.”

Riding a school record 20-game winning streak at the Coliseum, the Mountaineers are led by senior co-captains Liz Repella and Madina Ali, who bioth had double-digit scoring efforts against Loyola in the opener. Repella led all scorers with 18 points and was just shy of a double-double as she also recorded nine rebounds while Ali finished the game with 17 points and six boards.

Senior forward Korinne Campbell, sophomore center Asya Bussie, and either freshman guard Brooke Hampton or Miles are expected to round out the starting five.

Wednesday night’s contest will be streamed live on MSNsportsNet.com.

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