No. 17 West Virginia beats Alderson-Broaddus 102-28 in ‘Haunted Hoops’ exhibition
Published: Thursday, November 1, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 1, 2012 10:11
In the first exhibition game of the season, the No. 17 West Virginia women’s basketball team had its first look at what life would be like without star center Asya Bussie.
Against the Alderson-Broaddus Battlers, the Mountaineers looked for a spark with the beginning of the 2012-2013 campaign.
The Mountaineers had an impressive showing in the Coliseum with a 102-28 victory on Halloween night.
Entitled "Haunted Hoops," WVU was able to obtain 32 steals, force 49 turnovers and get all players involved in the first showing against an inferior Alderson-Broaddus team.
West Virginia shot 57.1 percent from the floor, while the Battlers shot a porous 26.5 percent. The Mountaineers struggled from three-point range all night, while shooting only 11.8 percent (2-17) from deep.
West Virginia was led by senior center Ayana Dunning’s 15 points. Junior guard Christal Caldwell contributed 10 points.
There was some concern about players’ roles and who would be able to step up with the loss of star center Asya Bussie.
"It’s something we’re picking up as a team. I don’t think one person is going to be able to replace Asya," Dunning said. "Some people are going to be able to chip in extra points and help with rebounds. It’s a team effort."
WVU jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead to open up the game. There were some layup issues to start the game, but the majority of West Virginia’s points came from turnovers and transition points.
At one point, the Mountaineers had a 22-1 advantage with 11 minutes remaining in the first half.
"I thought our players came out and played hard," he said. "Our biggest thing is that we want to get up the lane. Did we make a lot of mistakes? Absolutely, but at least we got up the lane.
"We ran the floor, and I was happy with that. We’ll see what our defense really looks like against Virginia Tech. We have a lot of work to do."
The Mountaineers tested the improvements they made after a long summer of hard work.
"Games like this give us a chance to put it all together," Caldwell said. "We have to come together to play for (Bussie) and for West Virginia. We have to continue to do what Coach Carey tells us."
Even with the Mountaineers’ dominant performance, the team wasn’t given much of a chance to run sets against the Battlers. Due to the amount of West Virginia steals and Alderson-Broaddus turnovers, WVU just needed to make layups on Wednesday night.
"We have to be able to run our sets and actually have a flow," said Caldwell. "We really couldn’t do that tonight.
True freshman Jennie Simms scored 17 for WVU.
"Tonight was a great experience," Simms said. "(It was) a little nerve racking in the beginning, but once I got into the flow of the game, it just eased up for me."
Dunning sees the playing time for the freshmen as an early learning experience. As a senior, she understands the difficult transition first-year players face.
"I see all the freshmen coming around," Dunning said. "It is a hard transition. It was a hard transition for me, and I think it is a hard transition for everybody coming in from high school to play at the collegiate level – especially at a program like WVU where defense is what we preach. It is what we hang our hats on."