|Asya Bussie helped WVU dominate the paint in Friday's win over Washington State.
HONOLULU, Hawaii – Senior Asya Bussie used a game-leading 25 points to pave the way to a 88-66 West Virginia University women’s basketball victory over Washington State in the Bank of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine Classic Friday.
“Overall we did a nice job of cutting down the lane, and Asya Bussie
—what can you say—she dominated the paint,” coach Mike Carey said. “She had a terrific game and is only going to get better.”
The Mountaineer (2-1) offense helped WVU to a double-digit lead at the 8:01 mark in the first half, but the Cougars (1-3) continued to fight, coming within eight points, 33-25, at the 6:08 mark. WVU never let up, leading by double figures the rest of the way.
As a team, WVU recorded a 56.4 field goal percentage (31-55), including four threes and 73.3 percent (22-30) from the free throw line. Washington State shot 42.6 percent (23-54) from the field, 46.2 percent (6-13) from 3-point range and 70 percent (14-20) from the charity stripe.
West Virginia capitalized on turnovers, earning 27 points off Washington State’s 22 giveaways. WVU limited its own turnovers to 16. The Mountaineers also won the battle on the boards, pulling down 34 rebounds to WSU’s 25. WVU recorded 46 points in the paint, while limiting the Cougars to only 20.
Bussie was three rebounds shy of a double-double, shooting 90 percent from the field (9-10) and 70 percent (7-10) from the free throw line. Senior guard Christal Caldwell
added 19 points with a pair of threes and 5-of-6 shooting from the free throw line. Senior guard Taylor Palmer
and junior forward Crystal Leary
each chipped in nine points to round out the top three scorers. Off the bench, Leary also led all players in rebounding with eight boards and dished out three assists in 23 minutes.
“The other one I thought really helped us and stepped up is Crystal Leary
,” Carey said. “The things she did defensively and offensively—we can’t go without mentioning her. Asya does an excellent job presenting herself. She sealed very well and our girls were doing an excellent job of getting it over the top to her. Again, I thought our girls came out and executed and did what we had to do.”
Washington State was led in scoring by Tia Presley with 16 points and Lia Galdeira added another 12 points. Sage Romberg led the Cougars on the boards with five rebounds.
WVU returns to the Stan Sheriff Center for its final game of the classic as it takes on host team Hawaii at 10 p.m. ET tomorrow.
Fans can listen to the game live with Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG online at WVUsports.com and on WRLF-FM 94.3 in Fairmont, with Jeff Culhane on the call. In Morgantown the game will air live on 100.9 WSZT-FM, in Cumberland, Md., on WCBC-AM 1270, in Parkersburg on WADC-AM 1050 and in Charleston on WSCW-AM 1410 and WJYP-AM 1300.
Hawaii is also offering audio of the game on ESPN 1420 AM, and will also be available via audio webcast at www.espn1420am.com
. Fans can also watch the game live via livestream on BigWest.tv.