WVU Closes Out Thanksgiving Classic

  • By Katie Kane
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  • November 24, 2012 04:01 PM
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MIAMI, Fla. – The No. 12/14 West Virginia women’s basketball team looks to rebound from a 71-63 loss to LSU in the opening round of the FIU Thanksgiving Classic when it faces Iowa on Sunday, Nov. 25, in Miami, Fla.

Iowa enters Sunday’s game off a 66-65 buzzer beater to FIU in the first game of the Thanksgiving Classic. WVU is 3-1 this season, while Iowa is 4-2 overall, defeating Northern Illinois, Illinois State, Middle Tennessee and Robert Morris, while dropping contests to North Carolina and FIU.

Morgan Johnson is the Hawkeyes’ leading scorer and rebounder as she averages 18.0 points per game and 8.3 rebounds per game. Johnson has also collected the second-most blocked shots this season with 14, while Bethany Doolittle has blocked 16 shots.

Jaime Printy is second on the team in scoring with 12.2 points per game and has recorded the most 3-pointers for the Hawkeyes with 13 this season. Melissa Dixon rounds out the top three scorers as she averages 8.0 points per game.

Against host FIU, Printy and Johnson led the team with 15 and 14 points, respectively. Printy was 5-of-12 from the field, including 4-of-9 from 3-point range. Iowa went into halftime against FIU with a 34-25 lead, but allowed 41 second-half points, to fall by one.

WVU trails 2-1 in the all-time series with Iowa, but are 1-0 in the series at neutral sites. WVU defeated Iowa 69-66 in the last meeting on Nov. 27, 2009 at the Nugget Classic in Reno, Nev.

The Mountaineers’ bench has stepped up this season, accounting for 52.6 percent (144/274) of WVU’s scoring. Off the bench, junior guard Taylor Palmer put up a season-high 15 points to lead the Mountaineers in scoring for the first time this season. Palmer drained three 30 pointers and was 4-of-11 from the field. True freshman Jennie Simms stepped up to match a career best with 11 points. The bench also combined for 16-of-35 total rebounds, helping the Mountaineers to a one-rebound advantage over LSU.

Three of WVU’s top five season scorers come from the bench. Starter Ayana Dunning leads WVU in both scoring and rebounding with 11.8 points and 3.5 reb., respectively. Palmer (8.0 ppg/2.3 rpg), Holmes (7.0 ppg/2.8 rpg) and Crystal Leary (7.0 ppg/6.0 rpg) make up the second-, third- and fourth-leading scorers for WVU, in that order.

Fans can tune into WAJR to hear Sunday’s game live with Travis Jones on the call.

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