The West Virginia University women's basketball team came together for a 102-28 exhibition win over Alderson-Broaddus, Wednesday, at the WVU Coliseum in front of a Haunted Hoops crowd.
"First of all, I thought our people did a great job with the atmosphere, the video and the Halloween theme. I thought that was very good," coach Mike Carey said. "I thought our players came out and played hard. I want to thank AB. We were supposed to have Concord here, but they couldn't come because of the weather, so I would like to thank AB for coming and doing that. Overall, I thought we played hard. We have a lot to work on, a lot of film to watch and game situations to work on."
All Mountaineer players saw playing time, with five recording double-figure scoring numbers behind sophomore Crystal Leary's 17 points. Senior Ayana Dunning recorded 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting, while true freshman Jennie Simms contributed 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Sophomore Akilah Bethel and junior Christal Caldwell rounded out the double-digit scorers with 11 and 10 points each, respectively. A majority of WVU's points were scored off layups with 82 points in the paint.
"We got up the lane, we ran the floor and got some breaks and I was happy with that. Our freshmen got their first game on the floor and got the jitters out a little bit, so it was good for them to get out on the floor," Carey said. "We got everybody a lot of playing time, so hopefully we will come in tomorrow and work hard."
"I see all the freshmen coming around," Dunning explained. "It is a hard transition. It was a hard transition for me and I think it is a hard transition for everybody coming in from high school to play at the collegiate level—especially at a program like WVU where defense is what we preach. It is what we hang our hats on. With that being the focus, I think it is difficult for the freshmen, but they are learning it. They are looking to us, the upperclassmen, to help them and they are eager to learn, so it is good and they are coming around."
As a team, WVU shot 57.1 percent (44-77) from the field, while limiting the Battlers to 26.5 percent (9-34). The Mountaineers were aggressive and up the lanes, grabbing 32 team steals. Junior Brooke Hampton was responsible for five steals, while true freshman Darius Faulk and Simms grabbed four each.
"I like that she was being aggressive today," Dunning said about her new teammate Simms. "She was getting up the lane on defense, which is where it started, getting a lot of steals, which got her going and she was being aggressive and taking it to the basket. I think that is a good thing especially from a freshman. She is not out there playing timid, she is out there playing strong and confident in her game."
"Tonight was a great experience," said Simms of her first game experience as a Mountaineer. "A little nerve racking in the beginning, but once I got into the flow of the game, it just eased up for me. We practice here all the time against the practice players and it is just do what you do really."
The Mountaineers out-rebounded Alderson-Broaddus 37-26. Leary led on the boards with eight rebounds, while sophomore Averee Fields pulled down six rebounds.
The Battlers were led in scoring by freshman Sydney Shaffer with seven points and senior Shirshawna Dowdy with five points. Junior Erica Brooks pulled down four rebounds for the Battlers.
The Mountaineers return to the WVU Coliseum for the regular-season opener at 7 p.m., on Friday, Nov. 9 against UNC Wilmington.