The West Virginia women's basketball team recorded its ninth consecutive win over Marshall in the Chesapeake Energy Capital Classic with an 82-51 victory, Saturday, at the Charleston Civic Center.
A Taylor Palmer 3-pointer on the Mountaineers' (8-1) opening possession set the tone, in a game WVU never trailed. WVU used six 3-pointers in the opening half, behind Palmer and senior guard Brooke Hampton's two each. Palmer led all players into the break with 10 points, helping WVU to a 44-22 halftime lead.
"For the first eight minutes, we came out and played extremely hard defensively," coach Mike Carey said. "That's what we do – we play hard defense and then we get our offense going. Our defense dictates everything and gets us moving. After that, we hit some threes. I thought they were sagging on Asya Bussie. She moved well inside, and that's a good sign."
The Thundering Herd (3-5) improved their shooting from the field after halftime, but could not overcome the early deficit, as WVU led by as many as 32 (68-36) with 9:39 remaining.
The Mountaineers had three players record 16 points each, including the MVP of the game, senior center Asya Bussie. Bussie had 10 of her 16 points in the second half, and also added five rebounds, three assists and a pair of blocks to her stat line in 28 minutes.
Palmer finished with 16 points, including four threes and four assists. Sophomore guard Bria Holmes came off the bench with 16 points, 5-of-8 from the free throw line, with two assists and two steals in 21 minutes.
Senior guard Hampton added nine points from the bench, with three treys and four assists. Redshirt-freshman Lanay Montgomery and senior guard Christal Caldwell each added eight points. Caldwell also led WVU in rebounding with a season-best 10 boards.
"Overall, the girls played hard and they played as a team," Carey said. "It was good to have Bria Holmes. I didn't know how much I was going to play her, but she played pretty well. We're pretty deep. We've got people who can play different positions."
WVU outrebounded Marshall 53-27, gaining 15 second-chance points. The Mountaineer bench contributed 40 points.
WVU shot 45.5 percent (25-55) from the field, 50 percent (10-20) from 3-point range and 68.8 percent (22-32) from the free throw line. In comparison, Marshall was held to only 30.4 percent (17-56) from the field, 29.2 percent (7-24) from beyond the arc and 52.6 percent (10-19) from the free throw line.
The Thundering Herd was led in scoring by Norrisha Victrum with 13 points, Erica Woods with 11 points and Chelsey Romero with eight points. Woods and Suporia Dickens each pulled down five rebounds.
Saturday's win extends WVU's streak to eight games. WVU returns home for a 7 p.m. tip with Delaware State on Dec. 18 at the WVU Coliseum.