Valiant Effort

LaQuita Owens scored a game high 20 points, but it wasn't quite enough for WVU to pull an upset against homestanding UConn.

The Huskies weathered Owens' outburst as they held on for a 58-50 win. Olayinka Sanni was the only other scorer in double figures for the Mountaineers as she dropped in 11 points, most of those coming in the second half.

For UConn, Charde Houston was the leading scorer for the Huskies with 15 points. Mel Thomas added 11 points and Barbara Turner was the third and final player in double figures as she dropped in 10.

The big story coming out of the game was turnovers. The teams combined for 36 turnovers, 20 for WVU and 16 for UConn. The turnovers by the Huskies allowed WVU to stay in the game, as the most WVU trailed by in the contest was 15 points.

Even with the assistance, the Mountaineers had trouble closing the gap. After trailing by ten (31-21) at half time, the closest WVU could get in the second half was eight points. As any good team does, every time WVU would hit a big shot or get a bit of momentum, UConn would make a play to snatch that momentum away.

The game looked like it was going to be like every other match up between the two teams in recent history, as the Huskies went on an 8-0 run to start the game on two three-pointers by Thomas and Strother, and a lay up by Thomas. WVU fought back, however, as it countered with an 8-0 run of their own that was capped by a three-pointer by Owens to tie the game. UConn again countered, this time with a 14-2 run, to extend the lead to double figures for the first time in the game at 22-10. The lead stayed around that twelve-point barrier for the rest of the half before WVU cut it to ten at the horn.

In the second half it was much of the same. Owens hit a shot to cut the Huskies' lead to 31-23 right out of the gates, and it looked like WVU might be able to muster some offense. Unfortunately for the Mountaineers that was not the case as back to back three-pointers by Renee Montgomery and Thomas got the lead back out to double figures with 15 minutes to go at 44-30. At the 11:30 mark of the half, Owens connected on another three-pointer to get the lead back down to eight at 47-39. UConn was just too much though, as the Huskies kept the lead in double figures until Owens hit a three with three seconds to go to make the final score 58-50.

For the game WVU shot 19-52 from the field, and 4-17 from behind the arc. UConn didn't do better as they were 18-56 from the floor, and 8-26 from three. WVU's assist to turnover ratio continued to be a problem, as the Mountaineers committed 20 turnovers against only 11 assists.

The Mountaineers will jump back into action on Tuesday as they continue their road trip in Providence to take on a struggling Friars team. Providence is 6-14 on the season and just 1-8 in the Big East. WVU, 12-8 on the season and 4-5 in the conference, will look to again even its Big East record. Tip time is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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