WVU Women Rip St. Francis

Yinka Sanni tallied a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds as No. 19 West Virginia recorded its largest margin of victory in five years with an 81-29 win over St. Francis on Friday.

The Mountaineers (2-0) scored the initial 17 points of the game and held St. Francis without points for the first 6:29. A combination of smothering man defense and switching in and out of a press confused St. Francis, which failed to get a shot in its three of its first five possessions. It had two shot clock violations in the first five minutes, and by the time it scored, WVU had already inserted its first substitute in Meg Bulger.

The All-American immediately hit consecutive 3-pointers to push the edge to 23-2 with little more than seven minutes played. West Virginia extended the lead to 46-12 by the break, holding the Red Flash (1-2) to one field goal over the final 10 minutes.

The Mountaineers scored 19 straight points after Shawna Scott made two free throws with 10:40 left in the half. Five different players contributed, led by Chakia Cole's six. Sanni, West Virginia's all-time leader in field goal percentage, added four points. The preseason all-Big East selection made seven of 13 field goals.

Only Scott's jumper with 33 seconds left in the half got St. Francis to double digits. The Red Flash committed 17 first-half turnovers and had scoring droughts of 6:29 and 10:06 when West Virginia outscored them 36-0. The Mountaineers forced 27 total turnovers.

The 12 points scored was one more than the Coliseum record for fewest in the first half by a WVU foe, which is held by three teams.

Samantha Leach led the Red Flash with 10 points. Bulger added 11 for WVU and Sparkle Davis had nine, including seven of the game's first nine. St. Francis never got closer than 30 points in the second half as West Virginia won its seventh regular season game in eight outings dating to last season, when it was eliminated in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. WVU, whose biggest lead was its last, is 3-0 against St. Francis, all the wins coming in the last three years. It plays host to Cornell on Sunday before playing defending national champion and No. 1 ranked Tennessee on Nov. 21 in Charleston.

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