Mountaineers upset in performance despite 31-point victory
Published: Monday, November 15, 2010
Updated: Monday, November 15, 2010 01:11
It wasn't how West Virginia women's basketball head coach Mike Carey had pictured his team's season opener.
But the 10th-year head coach wasn't complaining after his team defeated Loyola 80-49 in the season opener Friday night at the WVU Coliseum.
"You sure could tell it was our first game," Carey said.
The 11th-ranked Mountaineers found themselves trailing by a point at the 8:32 mark of the first half, but went on a 9-2 run, which helped them carry a 31-25 lead into the break.
The Greyhounds held West Virginia to just 1-of-12 from behind the arc and a 41.2 field goal percentage in the first half.
The Mountaineers had a reversal of fortune in the second half. They made 8-of-13 3-pointers and shot 51.4 percent from the field.
"We started hitting some three's in the second half – that's the only reason it broke open," Carey said. "We were a little bit deeper."
West Virginia's bench scored 27 points to Loyola's 10 points off the bench.
Senior Liz Repella, who finished with a game-high 18 points, nine rebounds and five assists, hit a 3-point shot at the 12:20 mark in the second half to give the Mountaineers a 50-37 lead.
Freshman Taylor Palmer, in her first collegiate game, came off the bench and hit three 3-pointers down the stretch to eventually give a 20-plus point lead.
West Virginia then scored 10 of the game's final 12 points to secure the victory.
"We needed that in the first half. I thought the second half was a little bit better," Carey said. "We can't just show up and expect teams to lay down and not play hard."
Senior Madina Ali scored 17 points and grabbed six rebounds. Thirteen of her points came in the first 20 minutes.
"I thought Madina came out and had a lot on energy," Carey said. "She came out and played hard."
The Mountaineers had 19 turnovers, including 11 in the first half.
"We should not be making the mistakes we're making. We'll go back to the drawing board because we have to get a lot better," Carey said. "I'm not coaching to beat (Loyola). We're coaching to win a national championship."