MORGANTOWN, W.Va.– Senior co-captains Liz Repella and Madina Ali each recorded a double-double as the duo led the No. 10/11 West Virginia women’s basketball team to a 62-49 victory over No. 21/25 TCU in the opening game of the Paradise Jam tournament held in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Thursday.
Ali capitalized on 10 first-half points and chipped in another six as she was 6-for-7 from the field to lead the Mountaineers (4-0) in scoring. Repella added in another 13 points, with 10 coming in the second half.
“Madina does everything,” Repella said. “She rebounds, she scores and just gives it her all.”
The Lady Frogs’ (3-1) leading scorer Emily Carter, who was averaging 30.3 points per game was held to only 10 points in the game, while teammate Helena Sverrisdottir led all scorers with 20 points on 50 percent shooting (7-of-14).
Repella led the rebounding efforts for the third time this season as she pulled down a season-high 11 boards and Ali contributed with 10 rebounds of her own. The Mountaineers held a 43-29 rebounding advantage over TCU, who typically averages 51.3 boards a game. Repella also grabbed five steals, while Sarah Miles recorded three steals and four assists.
“I thought we did a good job on defense and the boards,” WVU head coach Mike Carey said. “I was proud of our girls and how hard they played on defense. Offensively, we have work to do, but overall I was pleased. They are a very good basketball team.”
WVU’s largest lead came with 8:27 remaining in the game. The Mountaineers led by 18 (52-34) after going on a 19-5 run from the 14:15 mark with points from six different players, including a three from both Repella and Vanessa House.
The Mountaineers took a 25-21 halftime lead into the locker room shooting only 39.3 percent from the field (11-of-28) without hitting a single three. Ali led all scorers at the half as she was 4-for-5 from the field with 10 total points. The Lady Frogs were held to only 32.1 percent shooting (9-of-28) with Sverrisdottir leading the way with seven first-half points. WVU held the rebounding advantage at the half, 25-16, with Ali leading all players off the boards with six rebounds.
WVU improved its shooting to finish the day with 43.1 percent from the field (22-of-51) while TCU was held to 34 percent (18-of-53).
Fox Sports Net, with Brenda VanLengen announcing, will broadcast all games live online during the tournament. Live video streaming will be available for a one-time fee of $4.99 at http://b2tv.com/partner_members.asp?id=362.
In addition to the live television broadcast online, MSN radio’s Travis Jones will also handle live radio broadcast duties for Morgantown, Clarksburg, Charleston, Bluefield, Elkins, Keyser, Buckhannon and Summersville.
The Mountaineers will take on Virginia tomorrow at 1 p.m. UVA plays the second game of the tournament against Iowa State following today’s game against. The Cavaliers entered the Paradise Jam with a 3-1 record after recording a pair of home wins and splitting a pair of road games. Its only loss this season, an 85-73 decision, came at Tennessee. It entered the tournament coming of a 74-63 win at home over Longwood. Ariana Moorer and Whitny Edwards are the top scorers for Virginia, averaging 18.3 and 10.3 points per game, respectively. Defensively, Jazmin Pitts averages 11.0 rebounds a game, while Edwards has grabbed 10 steals and Chelsea Shine has blocked 10 shots this season.
Friday’s meeting is the sixth meeting between West Virginia and Virginia. The Cavaliers hold the advantage (5-0) in the all-time series as the Mountaineers have never recorded a win over Virginia in the series, dating back to 1989. The last time WVU faced UVA was Nov. 15, 1998 in the WVU Coliseum. UVA defeated WVU 85-72 in the contest. The other four games in the series have been played in Charlottesville, Va.