Not to be outdone, junior center Olayinka Sanni stepped up huge for the Mountaineers, who were playing in the final round of the Basketball Traveler's Classic at Baton Rouge, La. Sanni was finally able to establish a physical presence down low in the paint, finishing with 18 points and a team-high 12 rebounds.
Unlike the previous night, when the Mountaineers established a huge 35-15 lead but were unable to maintain it down the stretch in a 60-56 loss to Virginia Tech, West Virginia held off a pesky Bison team late in the game. Trailing 41-39 at intermission, the Mountaineers shot out of the gate red-hot and launched a comfortable lead early in the second-half.
From that point on, the Bison couldn't keep up with West Virginia's high-octane offense. Cole and Sanni weren't the only stars on Tuesday evening for the Mountaineers; however, as sophomores Ashley Powell and Sparkle Davis and junior LaQuita Owens contributed largely to West Virginia's first regular-season win.
Owens produced her first double-double of the young season, scoring 13 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Powell scored a career-high 14 points, sinking 5-of-6 attempts from the field. Davis, coming off a 16-point six-assist performance against the Hokies, chipped in with another solid outing of 11 points.
Playing at the Pete Maravich Center for the third time in as many days, the Mountaineers showed no signs of fatigue on Tuesday. The offense certainly has shown signs of improvement in the past two contests, going from a miserable 25 points on Sunday evening to a stat-filled 84 tonight to close out the tournament. That improvement will surely have head coach Mike Carey feeling better about his squad as they head back to Morgantown.
West Virginia improved to 1-2 on the season and gets five days rest before playing their season home-opener versus Wofford. The Terriers are 2-0 on the season and picked up victories over Gardner-Webb and Southern Virginia by a combined 45 points. Tipoff for that contest is set for 6:30 p.m. and will follow the men's contest against Canisius in the afternoon.