Wildcats Edge Mountaineers

It's been a rough week for the West Virginia University women's basketball team. After the defections of two players last week and potential legal troubles surfacing for another, WVU had to hit the road for a three-game stint on Sunday and started off with a loss against Delaware State in overtime.

That game that could almost certainly have been depended on for a win, but things didin't turn out that way, as the Hornets upset the Mountaineers in a sloppily played game.

On Tuesday, West Virginia traveled into Big Ten country, put up a good fight against Northwestern in front of a crowd of 2,657, but dropped a 60-57 decision to the Wildcats in Chicago.

The Mountaineers played a game very similar to that against Hornets just days earlier. WVU jumped to a quick 5-2 lead in the opening minutes, but then committed three turnovers during an 11-0 Northwestern run to give the Wildcats a 13-5 lead. The Mountaineers battled back several times to bring the game close in the first half, but Northwestern held the edge throughout, taking a 27-22 lead at halftime.

The second half saw West Virginia finally get a spark, probably for the first time in a couple of weeks. A 15-3 run by the Mountaineers made the score 37-30, but demons came back in the form of cold shooting and poor rebounding to bring the Wildcats back and seal the win for the home team.

Stats certainly tell the tale of the game. West Virginia did much better on turnovers in this game than on Sunday - they committed only eight to Northwestern's 15. However, the Wildcats were able to pull down 14 more rebounds than WVU, for a final margin of 43-29. West Virginia only made it to the free throw line once for one point, while the Wildcats shot 9-12 from the stripe.

West Virginia struggled from the inside, with Meg Bulger, Michelle Carter, and Latitia Williams going a combined 6-14 for 13 points. Bulger led the three with seven points.

Overall, Sherell Sowho had a good game, leading WVU in scoring with 20 points on 8-17 shooting. Kate Bulger was the only other Mountaineer to hit double figures with 11 on 5-18 shooting, but she hit only 1-8 from beyond the arc.

Northwestern was led by Ifeoma Okonko, who shot 5-9 for 13 points, pulling down 13 rebounds.

West Virginia concludes its road trip Saturday with a critical game at Duquesne, then breaks for ten days for the holidays.


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