MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – Madina Ali scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead No. 10 West Virginia to a 69-58 victory over Duquesne at the Coliseum on Wednesday night.
Ali had a career night, breaking her scoring high in the win with a team-leading 19 points, having previously scored 18 points against Maine on Dec. 5, 2009. She also now has three career double-doubles, her last one occurring against Georgetown on Feb. 14, 2010.
“Madina played her butt off today,” said teammate (Liz) Repella. “She was all over the floor and in the first half she was our energizer and she played really hard in the second half. I think her stat line speaks for itself.”
With the win, the Mountaineers (2-0) improve to 54-3 at home during non-conference play under Mike Carey, while also improving to 131-101 over Atlantic 10 Conference opponents.
Liz Repella contributed 18 points and five boards in a team-high 40 minutes of play, while Korinne Campbell and Asya Bussie
scored 10 and nine points, respectively. Sarah Miles contributed three assists and one rebound in her first start of the season, having missed the opener against Loyola-Maryland during her ongoing recovery from preseason wrist surgery.
“I thought Madina Ali played well and has played hard and well in both games,” said coach Mike Carey. “I thought Liz Repella played hard for a full 40 minutes; I never took her out.
“Sarah was a little rusty tonight,” Carey continued. “We have to get her back in there and let her make those mistakes because she wasn’t using her right hand as much. We need to get her back in there to get more confidence in her right hand. Her hand is sore, which we knew it would be, so she’s going to have to get through it mentally.”
West Virginia ended the game shooting 47.2 percent (25-of-53) from the floor, and 53.8 percent (14-of-26) from the charity stripe to remain in control of the lead for the entire second half. The Mountaineers were also able to record 23 defensive rebounds, and force 26 turnovers while holding the Dukes (1-1) below 60 points.
“I think they’re a legitimate top 10 team. They have so many weapons,” Duquesne coach Suzie McConnell-Serio said. “It’s basically pick your poison. They have Liz Repella who can knock down shots if you leave her, and (Asya) Bussie and Ali inside; they’re just a presence on the floor. We had to bring a double team so often.”
After getting off to a slow start and trailing the Dukes for the opening seven minutes of the first half, the Mountaineers used their defense to gain game-changing momentum. By halftime, the team had obtained the lead, 44-28, by forcing 13 turnovers while making five blocks and grabbing 11 steals.
Freshman guard Orsi Szecsi led the Duquesne offense for the second time this season with 13 points and eight rebounds. Wumi Agunbiade and Alex Gensler followed with 11 and eight points, respectively.
The win marks the fourth time Carey has defeated McConnell-Serio, and extends the Mountaineers lead in the series to 25-7.
The Mountaineers return to the Coliseum on Friday, Nov. 19 to take on Delaware State in what will be the third meeting between the teams. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be streamed live on MSNsportsNet.com.