Meg Bulger led all scorers for the Mountaineers as she played through flu-like symptoms to drop in 19 points. She received little support, however, as the only other player in double figure was Chakhia Cole, who scored 10 points; eight in the second half.
At first glance, it might appear that West Virginia did not shoot the ball well, but that wasn't the case. WVU hit 24 of its 50 tries from the field, and actually had a better field goal percentage than the Wildcats in the first half.
The inability for the Mountaineers to get any offensive rebounds until mid way through the second half impacted their efforts to stay in the game. On the other hand, Villanova grabbed four offensive rebounds in the first half and converted on all four extra opportunities. The lack of second chances did the Mountaineers in as they could not outfight the undersized Wildcats on the boards, where they were out-rebounded 29-25.
WVU had practiced getting the ball into Olayinka Sanni and Yelena Leuchanka all week, knowing that it was the one area they had a mismatch against the Wildcats, but the twin towers only accounted for nine points combined in the game. WVU has shown throughout the season that Sanni and Leuchanka are keys in every game, as their production normally determines whether WVU wins or loses.
The Mountaineers started out slowly, getting in a 14-7 hole before Bulger and Leuchanka added back-to-back layups to cut the lead to 14-11. However, as turned out to be the theme of the game, every time WVU got close, Villanova went on a run. Back-to-back three-pointers from Courtney Roantree and Suez-Karni extended the lead to 22-15. The lead was extended to 34-22 late in the first half, but Meg Bulger hit a three as the seconds ticked off the clock to cut the lead to 34-27, and seemingly gave WVU momentum going into the locker room. Bulger and Sanni had 21 of WVU's 27 points in the first half.
As the second half, began the Mountaineers could not carry over the momentum, as Dessart Mager hit a three-pointer to kick Villanova's lead back out to 46-33. The only bright spot for the Mountaineers in the second half was Sara Bucar, who hit two three-pointers. The second one cut the lead to 65-52, but by then the Wildcats' lead was too much to overcome. Suez Karni sealed the game away with a three-pointer with a little over a minute to go to give the Wildcats a 73-59 lead.
WVU had a season low in turnovers with 10, and had 12 assists for the game. The Mountaineers were 5-13 from behind the three point line.
WVU falls to 10-5 on the season and 3-2 in the Big East. The women return to action on Saturday at the Coliseum as they host the Marquette Golden Eagles. Marquette comes in at 11-4 on the season and 2-2 in the Big East. Tip time is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.