The West Virginia women’s basketball team avoided early mistakes to cruise to a 74-49 victory over the Saint Francis Red Flash on Thursday night.
Junior guard Kysre Gondrezick led all players with 24 points. Gondrezick only appeared in five games last season, but she came out and made an immediate impact for the Mountaineers who are awaiting the return of senior guard, Tynice Martin.
West Virginia head coach Mike Carey was not surprised by Gondrezick’s performance as he was expecting her to step up.
"She's been scoring well in practice, and she scored well in the exhibition," Carey said. "Scoring-wise, I was definitely expecting her to do this."
At the end of the first quarter, the Mountaineers were tied with the Red Flash, 17-17. West Virginia had six turnovers while only forcing eight.
In the second quarter, WVU began to break away. After St. Francis retook the lead, 28-27, the Mountaineers ended the half on a 13-0 run to head to the locker room with a 40-28 lead.
St. Francis made it interesting early in the second half, scoring the first six points to cut West Virginia’s lead in half. The Mountaineers ended the third quarter outscoring the Red Flash, 13-3, to gain their largest lead of the night at 16.
West Virginia locked down defensively in the fourth quarter as the team only allowed eight points to secure the victory, 74-49. After giving up 28 points total in the first half, WVU only allowed 17 points to the Red Flash in the second half.
Three Mountaineers scored in double-digits with Gondrezick leading the way. Sophomore forward Kari Niblack had 10 points to go along with seven rebounds and Rochelle Norris added 10 points off the bench.
In the end, West Virginia outrebounded St. Francis, 39-37. The Mountaineers also forced 23 turnovers while only committing 13.
Up next, WVU hosts Presbyterian on Sunday, Nov. 10, at the WVU Coliseum. St. Francis will return home for its game against Seton Hill on Nov. 12.