Women Cap Successful Day

The West Virginia women's basketball team capped a successful day in Mountaineer hoops with a 58-49 win over Florida International.

The victory, which earned the Mountaineers the championship trophy in the FIU Thanksgiving Classic, was the perfect cap to a great day on the hardwood. Earlier in the afternoon, the men's team defeated LSU on the road by fifteen.

WVU (4-0) steadily built a lead throughout the first half of the contest, and took its largest lead at 30-13 on a Yolanda Paige score late in the half. However, FIU was not done, as they scored the final seven points of the half to cut the deficit to 30-20 at the break.

The Mountaineers were hampered by the lack of productivity from senior Sherell Sowho, who scored just two points in limited first half action. Meg Bulger, who had six of of her eight points in the opening period, and Paige, who hit both layups and jump shots to help WVU build its early lead, paced the Mountaineers early.

In the second half, Paige, who finished with 18 points and five assists, again asserted herself as West Virginia slowly rebuilt its lead. While there weren't any of the big runs that had marked WVU's three other wins this year, the Mountaineers scored enough points in the halfcourt to take home the championship trophy.

The Golden Panthers managed to slow down West Virginia's transition game, which had powered the Mountaineers to three realtively easy wins to open the season. WVU struggled to be consistent in the halfcourt game, but eventually got the pair of big threes from Sowho to get some breathing room down the stretch.

Sowho shook off her first half doldrums to record 12 points, including back-to-back three-pointers in a second half spurt that pushed WVU's lead to 11 at 49-38. She was named to the all tournament team along with Paige, who took home MVP honors. Freshman Yinka Sanni had the finest game of her young career, scoring seven points. Bulger added nine rebounds to the effort, and Chakia Cole had seven points and a like number of boards to the WVU total.

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