Mountaineers Ready for Midweek Matchup


By Katie Kane for WVUsports.com
December 17, 2013 01:21 PM
Senior guard Taylor Palmer has had four 3-pointers in each of the last two games.
All-Pro Photography/Dale Sparks photo
MORGANTOWN, W.Va.  – The West Virginia women’s basketball team will face Delaware State in a midweek matchup, at 7 p.m., Wednesday, at the WVU Coliseum.
 
Looking for its ninth consecutive win, the Mountaineers (8-1) are coming off an 82-51 victory, Saturday, over Marshall in the Chesapeake Energy Capital Classic.
 
WVU is shooting at least 40 percent in all wins this season, and has four players averaging scoring numbers in double figures. Seniors Asya Bussie and Taylor Palmer and sophomore Bria Holmes each had 16 points against the Thundering Herd to lead WVU in scoring and average double figures for the season. Season scoring leader Christal Caldwell helped WVU to a rebounding advantage last game, with a season-high 10 boards.
 
Caldwell averages 14.7 points per game, Holmes averages 13.4, Palmer averages 13.1 and Bussie averages 13.0 points per game. Bussie also leads the Mountaineers in rebounding this season with 7.8 boards per game. Palmer is WVU’s leading 3-point shooter, having recorded four threes in each of the last two games, with 19 total this season. Junior Crystal Leary has been giving WVU a spark off the bench, and is the second leading rebounder with 6.2 rebounds per game.
 
Delaware State is 3-5 overall this season and 0-1 in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play, falling to conference foe Coppin State 80-75 on Dec. 7, 2013. The Mountaineers also faced Coppin State this season, taking an 88-56 victory on Dec. 3. The Hornets fell at Maryland, 93-44, in their last outing on Dec. 14.
 
DSU was without leading scorer and starter Tierra Hawkins last game, due to a shoulder injury she incurred in the game against Coppin State. Hawkins averages 23.0 points per game, 9.4 rebounds per game and nine blocked shots this season, leading the team in each respective category.
 
In the absence of Hawkins, freshman guard Raven Bankston has stepped up to lead the Hornets as she recorded a game-leading 22 points in the last outing against Maryland. Bankston averages 19.4 points per game and leads DSU with eight threes this season.
 
Senior forward Deanna Harmon rounds out the top three scorers with 12.4 points per game, averages 6.9 rebounds per game and co-leads the Hornets in the steals column with 16.
 
As a team, Delaware State averages 72.5 points, 37.2 rebounds and 17.4 free throws per game. Delaware State earned wins over Wilmington, at Manhattan and against George Mason in overtime. The Hornets are 1-4 on the road this season, under second-year coach Tamika Louis.
 
WVU and DSU will meet for the fourth time in program history on Wednesday. WVU leads the all-time series 2-1 with the Hornets. In the last meeting, the Mountaineers defeated Delaware State 66-31 on Nov. 19, 2010 at the WVU Coliseum.
 
Children, ages 13 and under, can earn one free youth admission to the game if they bring a completed coloring sheet of Musket to the Blue Gate of the WVU Coliseum. In addition to free admission, the coloring sheet will be entered into a drawing to receive a plush Musket toy and other officially licensed WVU products. 
 
Fans can listen online at WVUsports.com, as the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG will carry the game with Jeff Culhane and Ayana Dunning 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. WVUsports.com will also offer a free video live stream with Kyle West and Joe Mitchin.



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