WVU women nearly net 100
Published: Sunday, November 7, 2010
Updated: Sunday, November 7, 2010 22:11
From the opening tip, the final outcome was never in doubt.
The No. 11 West Virginia women's basketball team jumped out to a 12-3 lead in the first five minutes of the game and extended that lead to 51-16 by halftime, en route to a 99-42 win Saturday against Fairmont State in its only exhibition game of the season.
"We got to see what we needed to see, some of our weaknesses, some of the things we don't do well," said West Virginia head coach Mike Carey. "We've got a lot to work on, but I saw a lot of positives, too. We came out and played hard."
WVU set the tone early with its defense, forcing an overmatched Falcons team into 21 turnovers in the first 20 minutes of play. The Mountaineers only allowed the FSU 19 shot attempts, while also forcing 14 second-half turnovers.
"They couldn't really run their offense," Carey said. "They were trying to backdoor us, but we did a pretty good job of snapping our heads and not giving up the back door."
But it wasn't all about the WVU defense. Senior captains Liz Repella and Madina Ali led the Mountaineers.
Repella scored 19 of her 21 points in the first half, leading five Mountaineers in double figures, while Ali added 18 points of her own.
West Virginia also got received solid play from its three centers – Aysa Bussie, Natalie Burton and newcomer Ayana Dunning – as the three combined for 36 points, 21 rebounds and four of the Mountaineers' seven blocks.
"We're still learning to play with one another, and we still have a lot of things we need to work on," said Dunning, who scored 10 points and grabbed eight boards in her Mountaineer debut. "There's definite potential here, and all we have to do is develop it, and I think we could be a very special team."
But none of the players above would've had success Saturday if not for the solid play of freshman point guard Brooke Hampton. Hampton, who is filling in for Sarah Miles while she recovers from wrist surgery, dished out 11 assists while committing just one turnover.
"Coming in here as a freshman, I'm sure she was nervous, but she played really well," Carey said. "I thought she took care of the ball. You can't ask for much more from a point guard."
The most impressive aspect about the freshman's play could have possibly been that she continually passed up shots on the perimeter in order to feed the ball to her teammates for easier buckets.
When asked about it after the game, the Colts Neck, N.J., native answered it in typical point guard fashion.
"I just saw mismatches down low, and we had the height advantage," Hampton said. "It's a better, higher percentage shot inside the paint, so I just looked for a dump in to the center or Liz or Vanessa (House) on the wings."
The Mountaineers outrebounded Fairmont State 45-20 and shot 57 percent from the field.
Even though they played well against the Falcons, Carey thinks his team still has work to do between now and their first game Friday against Loyola (Md.).
"(In the opener), you don't get a second chance. It's for real then," Carey said. "I'm going to play the people who are going to play hard, I'm going to play the people that listen and do the things we want.
"I told Korinne (Campbell) and Sarah (Miles) to hurry up and get healthy. That's probably the biggest thing we can do between now and (Nov.) 12th."