Knighted

Cappie Pondexter scored 22 points, and reached the 2,000 point plateau for her career as the Rutgers Scarlet Knights overpowered the West Virginia Mountaineers in the second half en route to a 54-41 Big East Conference win.

Essence Carson was the only other player in double figures for the Scarlet Knights, as she added 13 points. Olayinka Sanni was the only player in double figures for the Mountaineers as she dropped in 13 points for the game.

Just like their male counterparts on Thursday night, the Mountaineers struggled from the field. WVU fell behind 22-6, and appeared totally out of the game after 14 minutes. Again mimicking the men, West Virginia then went on its biggest spurt of the game, tallying a 16-0 run to tie the game up at 22-all. Laquita Owens and Britney Davis-White were the big players on the run as they combined for three three-pointers and 11 of the 16 points during the streak.

In the second half the Mountaineers took two leads early on at 24-22 and 26-24, but that appeared to empty WVU's gas tank. WVU only scored 15 more points, while Pondexter alone had 15 points in the second half to drill the nail into the Mountaineers' coffin.

West Virginia continues to be a puzzle. One game they seem ready to play, and the next they come out flat. With WVU in danger of missing the Big East tournament players like Yelena Leuchanka and Ashley Powell are going to have to play better and smarter if the Mountaineers are to advance to the postseason.. Powell has turned into a very aggressive point guard, but sometimes, as the Rutgers game, her aggressive nature catches up with her as she makes unforced errors and turnovers. Leuchanka, on the other hand showed tonight that she can be a force inside as she had five points for the game and did an excellent job of getting rebounds and being physical with the Rutgers players. The problem Leuchanka has is that she has a tendency to bring the ball down after getting a rebound and tries to dribble one time to get closer to the basket. This takes away the advantage of her 6-5 frame and makes her susceptible to turnovers.

West Virginia still has a chance to make the Big East Tournament, and perahps even the Women's NIT for the second consecutive year, but to do so they will have to get more efforts like the ones the dyd atgainst DePaul and UConn.

With the Mountaineers' loss their record falls to 12-10 overall and 4-7 in the Big East. West Virginia will go back on the road this Wednesday as they take on the Cincinnati Bearcats. Tip time is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.


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