The West Virginia women's basketball team had one final attempt on an inbounding play with two-tenths of a second on the clock, but was unable to pull the shot off, falling to Cal State Northridge, 48-47, Saturday in the championship game of the 2011 Woodland Hills Holiday Inn Thanksgiving Classic.
Coming out of a 23-23 tie at halftime, the lead changed 14 times in the closing half with neither team pulling away by more than four points. Down 43-40 with 3:30 left, Taylor Palmer hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 43-43. An Ayana Dunning foul shot allowed the Mountaineers (3-2) their final lead at the 2:37 mark. The Matadors' (4-2) Jasmine Erving sunk a 3-pointer followed by a Janae Sharpe layup to pull away by four with 1:44 remaining in regulation.
Not giving up, Jess Harlee found Palmer on the next possession, who sunk a three to make it a one-point game with 1:24. A Cal State Northridge turnover gave WVU the ball with just over a minute to play, but a missed attempt allowed the Matadors to run the clock down to only 10 seconds. WVU's shot attempt failed leaving two-tenths of a second on the clock, but when CSUN inbounded the ball for the final time it hit the scoreboard, giving WVU one final shot under its own basket. The clock ran out before the attempt was successful.
Sophomore Palmer was named to the all-tournament team as she led WVU in scoring both nights with 18 points each game, totaling eight threes for the tournament.
Behind Palmer, junior Asya Bussie had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Harlee matched Bussie's rebounding total as the two co-led the Mountaineers on the boards.
The teams were comparable from the field as WVU shot 27.9 percent (17-61) and Cal State Northridge shot 28.1 percent (16-57). The Matadors showed success from the free throw line, converting 13-of-14 attempts (92.9%), while the Mountaineers made 45 percent (9-20) from the charity stripe.
Cal State Northridge led on the boards, out-rebounding WVU 50-41, however the Mountaineers forced 21 turnovers, while committing 15 of their own.
The Matadors were led by Kaitlyn Petersen who had 17 points, 13 in the first half, with 10 points coming from the free throw line. Behind Petersen, tournament MVP Erving had 10 points and led in rebounding with 13.
The Mountaineers return home for a matchup with La Salle, Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. at the WVU Coliseum.