WVU Downs North Carolina Central 97-24 - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU Downs North Carolina Central 97-24


The West Virginia women's basketball team held North Carolina Central to the lowest point total in the history of women's basketball at the WVU Coliseum with a 97-24 victory over the Eagles Sunday afternoon.

The previous lowest total at the Coliseum was in the 1974-75 season when the Mountaineers (2-1) held Seton Hill to 26 points. The point total is the second-lowest in the history of the program as WVU held Marshall to only 21 points last season.

As part of its defensive scheme, WVU forced 42 NCCU turnovers, tying for the second-most opponent turnovers in a single game since Feb. 1, 1982 and the most under coach Mike Carey. More than half of those turnovers came in steals as the Mountaineers recorded 27, the most steals by a team under Carey. Jess Harlee led the stealing efforts with a career-high seven, while Ayana Dunning and Averee Fields each grabbed four steals.

The Mountaineers rattled off 38 unanswered points to open the second half. Harlee and Taylor Palmer each had a game-leading 20 points, while Asya Bussie and Akilah Bethel chipped in 12 points apiece. Ayana Dunning and Christal Caldwell combined for 18 points as each had nine points.

"We played hard," Carey said. "If you could see the board you would see that I wrote down one thing, I want to see who has a motor and who is going to play hard. Jess Harlee played extremely hard. We still had a lot of easy misses, but we just got to keep fighting through it and start building a little bit of confidence in scoring."

WVU shot 44.0 percent (37-84) from the field, while limiting North Carolina Central to only 19.6 percent shooting (10-51). The Mountaineers improved from last game at the free throw line as they converted 90.9 percent (20-22).

The Mountaineers won the battle on the boards with 51 rebounds to NC Central's 38. Harlee and Bussie each pulled down eight rebounds to lead WVU. Every Mountaineer player saw game action with the bench accounting for 36 points.

The Eagles (0-4) were led by Chasidy Williams with eight points and seven rebounds.

WVU takes to the road for the first time this season in its next outing, Friday, Nov. 25, as it takes on UCLA in the opening round of the Woodland Hills Holiday Inn Thanksgiving Basketball Classic in Northridge, Calif.

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