Women’s Basketball Drops Season Opener

  • By Katie Kane
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  • November 08, 2013 09:09 PM
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Senior guard Christal Caldwell led WVU with 17 points. 
Dale Sparks photo
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. The West Virginia women’s basketball team experienced cold shooting as Ohio State took a 70-61 season-opening victory at the WVU Coliseum Friday.
“Ohio State was ready,” coach Mike Carey said. “They executed better than we did. They handled the ball better and they shot foul shots better than we did. You can’t go 2-for-20, miss 11 foul shots and turn the ball over 16 times against the zone. You’re not going to win.”
The Mountaineers (0-1) didn’t seem to have an answer for the Buckeyes’ (1-0) Ameryst Alston, who led all players with 29 points on 10-of-22 shooting from the field and 8-of-10 from the free throw line.
“We turned sideways and let her go straight in the block,” Carey explained. “She powered up over top of us. We tried different things. We tried to put bigger guards on her to trap her. We weren’t consistent and we didn’t stay focused. I’ll give her credit. She had a great game.”
An Asya Bussie three-point play cut the double-digit deficit to only four points (62-58) with 4:23 remaining, but Ohio State never let up, taking an 8-3 run to the buzzer. WVU missed three jumpers, 4-of-5 free throw attempts, turned the ball over twice and allowed OSU five free throw attempts, four of which it capitalized on, in the final 4:22.
“We were down by four, and then the foul shots killed us,” Carey said. “We were down by 10 fast. You can’t let a guard get in the block and have 29 points with only two or three of those from the perimeter. We have to be smarter.”
The Mountaineers entered the locker room at halftime down 41-40, but shot only 19.4 percent (6-31) from the field in the closing half, while Ohio State held a 40.7 field goal percentage (11-27).
Overall, WVU made 30.9 percent (21-68) from the field, while Ohio State shot 45.3 percent (24-53) for the game. OSU added four field goals from 3-point range (36.4%), while WVU only saw 10 percent (2-20) of its threes fall.
The Mountaineers were sent to the free throw line 28 times, converting 60.7 percent (17-28) and Ohio State recorded 18 points from the line (78.3%). WVU took a 53-36 advantage in rebounding, but committed 16 turnovers to Ohio State’s 14 giveaways.
Senior guard Christal Caldwell led WVU in scoring with 17 points, including a three, and 4-of-4 from the free throw line. Bussie added 14 points and nine rebounds, while junior Averee Fields pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds to lead all players on the boards. Sophomore guard Bria Holmes was the only other Mountaineer to put up scoring numbers in double figures with 12 points, and senior guard Taylor Palmer chipped in another nine points.
Coliseum Video Board Highlights  
Behind Ameryst, Ohio State’s Cait Craft had 15 points and eight rebounds, while Martina Ellerbe recorded 12 points and six boards.
The West Virginia women’s basketball team will take to the road for a three-game tournament in Honolulu, Hawaii at the Bank of Hawaii Wahine Classic. WVU will next face Ole Miss on Nov. 15, Washington State on Nov. 16 and host team Hawaii on Nov. 17, before returning home to face Virginia at the WVU Coliseum on Nov. 24.