Women Capture Game One

Yinka Sanni recorded a double-double to help West Virginia win an error-plagued 54-49 decision over the New South Wales Institute of Sport on Wednesday.

Playing in their first game after arriving in Australia, the Mountaineers showed the effects of the long trip. WVU shot just 28.4% from the field and 50% from the foul line, but managed to put together a solid defensive effort to help seal the win. West Virginia forced 30 NSWIS turnovers and had 20 outright steals (LaQuita Owens and Sparkle Davis lead with five apiece)as it rallied in the fourth quarter for the victory. The Mountaineers found themselves trailing by as many as five points two minutes into the fourth quarter, but a Sanni post-up move and a subsequent Owens three-pointer tied the game at 44-44 with 6:54 left. WVU then outscored its opponent 10-5 down the stretch to seal the victory.

Sanni was a force throughout, racking up 12 points and ten rebounds to go along with four steals of her own. Owens and Davis added 14 and 13 points, respectively, to join Sanni in double figures.

West Virginia also hammered their foes on the boards, collecting 18 offensive rebounds on their way to a total of 45. That helped lead to a 22-shot advantage for the Mountaineers, who took 74 in the contest.

West Virginia was even more shorthanded than expected for the contest. In addition to Meg Bulger, who will not play on the trip as she continues her recovery from two knee surgeries, Chakhia Cole missed the contest with an ankle sprain suffered just before leaving Morgantown. Her status is likely day to day for the remainder of the trip.

Game two of the five game trip occurs Thursday at 7:00 p.m. local time when the Mountaineers take on the Manly Sea Eagles. That translates to 3:00 a.m. in Morgantown.

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