Run Continues

LaQuita Owens and Chakhia Cole led WVU with 13 points a piece, while Olayinka Sanni added 10 as resurgent West Virginia continued its run in the Big East Tournament with a 55-49 defeat of fourth-seeded St. John's.

The Mountaineers played another outstanding game on the defensive end, as they held the Red Storm to a 16-52 shooting performance from the field. That total included a 3-14 mark from behind the arc. The Mountaineers also out rebounded St. John's 35-29.

Kia Wright led all scorers with 14 points, and Angela Clark was the only other player in double figures as she put in 12.

The Mountaineers and Red Storm had a very low scoring first half as both teams shot under 40 percent from the field. At the half the score was 23-20. In the second half St. John's jumped out to a 40-33 lead, and looked to be pulling away, but then WVU went on a 9-1 run that was capped off by a Yelena Leuchanka lay up that gave WVU its first lead of the stanza at 42-41. Both teams continued to trade baskets for the rest of the half, but the biggest shot of the game came when Sarah Bucar drove to the basket and nailed a bank shot to give the Mountaineers a 47-46 lead. The lead would change hands one more time, but Cole put WVU up for good after a pair of free throws at 49-48.

Coach Carey showed some of the different lineup looks he has talked about all season, putting in Leuchanka and Sanni at the same time, and playing Bucar and Powell at the same time as well. All of these intangibles helped WVU find the chemistry they have been looking for since the loss of Meg Bulger.

The tasks only get tougher if the Mountaineers hope to continue their Cinderalla march, as they face top-seeded Rutgers on Monday. The Scarlet Knights defeated the Mountaineers in their first meeting by the score of 64-51 as Cappie Pondexter went over the 2,000 point mark for her career. <

The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU, and the winner will advance to the championship on Tuesday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2. Tip time for the WVU-Rutgers game is 6:00 p.m.


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