After winning the opening tip, things turned ugly in a hurry for visiting Northeastern on Tuesday night. West Virginia seized control early and was never seriously threatened, cruising to a 79-42 victory over the overmatched Huskies.
Three Mountaineers scored in double figures, led by sophomore guard Liz Repella's 23-point effort. Sarah Miles and Vanessa House added 12 points apiece to aid West Virginia's winning effort.
On the heels of a two game shooting slump, Repella, a native of Steubenville, Ohio, made eight of her 16 shot attempts including a 5-9 effort from behind the arc. She also led the team in rebounds with 14 boards.
"We kept running sets to her to try to let her get a couple threes and once she hit one, we just ran two threes in a row just in order to get some confidence," Head Coach Mike Carey said. "But I don't think she called the ‘bank' shot though (on one of her shots). She banked it in and we'll take it."
The stingy defense deployed by the Mountaineers stifled Northeastern, forcing 19 turnovers and holding the Huskies to a 26 field goal percentage. WVU shot 43.3 percent for the game.
"I thought in the first half we were out in the passing lanes, creat[ing] a lot of turnovers," Carey said. "[We] made them take some bad shots and walk a lot, so I think we did a good job."
The Mountaineers dominated in the paint, outscoring the Huskies 38-14. WVU's dominance inside was also evident on the boards, where the Mountaineers owned a sizeable 52-37 advantage.
Offensively, West Virginia was very effective in transition, treating the Coliseum floor as its own personal speedway en route to 14 fast-break points.
After a quick 21-6 run to begin the game, the Mountaineers took a 31-11 lead into the locker room. West Virginia then relied on basketball essentials of defense and rebounding in the second half to cruise to the 37-point win.
With the win, WVU improves to 2-1 on the season and gains some much-needed confidence for an upcoming stretch which includes Saturday's home date with Florida International followed by a trip to the Dead River Company Classic in Orono, Maine.
"These girls need confidence," Carey explained. "And they have to know if they play hard, do what the coaches are asking and execute then they have an opportunity to win and hopefully they'll keep seeing that and hopefully they will keep getting confidence and we will continue to grow as a team."
Saturday's game against FIU closes out a four-game home stand for the Mountaineers. Tip-off set for 7 p.m.