Women Drop Second Straight

One player does not a team make. Sherell Sowho proved that Wednesday evening as she was the only West Virginia player who managed to give trouble to the Boston College Eagles. BC rolled to a 76-51 victory in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.

Early on, it looked as if Sowho alone would make it a game. She scored four of WVU's first six points, and the Mountaineers actually kept the score within four at 10-6 going into the 13:00 mark of the opening half. Unfortunately, from that point on, it would be all Sowho and even more Eagles as BC went on a 15-2 run to pretty much seal the game at 25-10 with 7:50 to go in the half. The Mountaineers were never able to pull any closer.

The game was broken wide open, as BC reserve Clare Droesch began singing "It's raining threes, hallelujah!" Droesch drilled three treys in a five-minute stretch, helping extend the lead to 28-10, capping the run at 18-2.

West Virginia, once again, was slow to start. The Mountaineers shot 24% in the first half as the Eagles sprinted to a 41-19 halftime lead. They didn't have an answer for anything. There were no points scored by the post players, with only five shots taken. Kate Bulger had only four, two of those coming from free throws to open the game. There was only one assist to be had - from Brandi Batch, of all players.

Meanwhile, Boston College couldn't be stopped. They shot 50% in the first half, and a perfect 7-7 from the free-throw line. While only one player scored in double digits (Brianne Stepherson had 11), the points were spread very evenly across the board. Ten Eagles played in the first half, with seven of those getting on the scoreboard. Seven Mountaineers played (five with significant time), and only three scored.

Traditionally a second half team, the Mountaineers came out and managed to hold the Eagles from beating them by 30. There were bright spots. Sowho keyed an 8-0 run midway through the half to close the score to 60-38. Later, the Mountaineers used another 8-0 run to make the score 71-49. Both times, the score was only closed to 22, but, there were signs of life being shown.

Sadly, it wasn't close to being enough. Boston College finished the game shooting 48%, while WVU shot only 33%. The Mountaineers hit only one three-point shot all night long, while the Eagles hit seven. Would it be safe to say that the scouts have managed to figure out that if two of WVU's "Big Three" - Yolanda Paige, Sherell Sowho, and/or Kate Bulger are shut down, they roll?

It was certainly true this evening. The Mountaineers didn't have an inside game. With the only hint of consistency coming from Brandi Batch all season, and the continual appearance of Mary Grace Carson in the starting lineup, one has to wonder how bad this could get, in what has been an otherwise spectacular season.

Changes will have to be made if West Virginia hopes to improve on the inside anytime soon. Carson has not given enough output to justify her starting position. White is probably justified in her starting spot, and Batch admits she does better off the bench, with which I can't disagree. In the meantime, Kristen Kilgore, having done some good things against bad opponents earlier in the season, sees little play in competitive games. Zsophia Horvath, a former starter and probably one who deserves another shot, gets the least time of any. I'm kidding here, but you have to wonder - is Horvath part of the ultra-secret continuity of government plan for the United States, and that's why she is in constant hiding?

A total of ten points were generated from the post players, four of those were free throws from Brandi Batch. Combined shooting was 3-11.

On the positive side, look for Sherell Sowho to be a candidate for Big East rookie of the week honors again. She seems to have this knack against top-25 teams, which, sadly, was not true this evening for the rest of her teammates. Sowho scored a career-high 27 points on 10-21 shooting, including WVU's only three. Her previous high was 25 points, against Colorado State.

Bulger was the only other Mountaineer in double-digits, managing ten points on 3-10 shooting. Brandi Batch had six points and five rebounds. Eartha White had four points and seven rebounds to lead the Mountaineers. Yolanda Paige wound up the scoring with four.

On the other side, Boston College was led by Brianne Stepherson and Clare Droesch, who each scored 17. Droesch went 5-5 from three-point range. Kim Mackie had 13 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Nicole Conway and Amber Jacobs had nine each, Adriana Spears had five, Jessalyn Deveny had four, and Rachel Byars scored two.

West Virginia travels to face a struggling St. John's team on Saturday. What better medicine could there be for turning things around? While nothing is certain, this is the best chance the Mountaineers could ask to have for putting an end to this two-game streak and getting a new lease on life. This team has the potential for a .500+ season, if the cards fall right. Currently, the Mountaineers stand at 11-8, 3-5 in conference play. Boston College improves to 16-4, 7-2 in conference.

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