MORGANTOWN — The No. 25 West Virginia women’s basketball team forced 33 turnovers and featured four players in double figures, as the Mountaineers rolled past visiting Bryant, 94-48, on Thursday morning at the WVU Coliseum.
In front of 9,687 fans, the second-most in WVU Coliseum women’s basketball history, on Education Day, which featured more than 30 participating local schools, the Mountaineers cruised to their third win of the season. Redshirt junior guard Tynice Martin paced WVU with a game-high 20 points, five rebounds and five steals, while senior forward Naomi Davenport added 16 points, six rebounds and four steals in the win.
Redshirt sophomore guard Kysre Gondrezick scored 16 points and five assists and four rebounds in her Mountaineers debut, and senior guard Katrina Pardee chipped in with 15 more, including three 3-pointers.
Defensively, the Mountaineers’ 33 forced turnovers were a season high and the most since tallying 42 against North Carolina Central on Nov. 20, 2011.
“I was proud of the girls,” coach Mike Carey said. “We really just haven’t had everybody together, and it was good to see. I saw a lot of positive stuff out there, I really did.”
The Mountaineers defense took charge in the second quarter, holding Bryant without a point for a stretch of more than five minutes at one point and without a field goal for better than seven minutes.
WVU went on to score 16 of the second quarter’s first 20 points, including a 14-0 run that was sparked by another 3 by Martin, a tough layup by Smith and back-to-back buckets from senior center Theresa Ekhelar on the low block. That stretched the Mountaineer lead to 40-18 with 4:01 to play before the half.
West Virginia went on to outscore Bryant, 23-8, in the final frame, extending its lead to as many as 46. The Mountaineers finished the contest on an 18-2 run and forced 11 turnovers in the final 7:41.
All nine Mountaineers that entered the game finished with points. Seven different players earned at least one steal in the affair.
WVU finished 35-of-68 from the field and made seven shots from beyond the arc as a team. The Mountaineers also registered 21 steals, scored 46 points in the paint and received a season-high 28 points off the bench.
Bryant, which was led by Haley Connors’ and Sydney Holloway’s 16 points, shot 16-of-50 as a team. The squads split the rebounding category, 37-37.
“For the first three quarters, we met the challenges as they are obviously a very athletic and very talented team,” Bryant head coach Mary Burke said. “But I was happy with how we competed. We went out there and tried to execute and I thought we got some necessary stops and had the ability to score. In the fourth quarter, we definitely got a little out of control with turnovers and the inability to get stops. For the first three quarters I thought we managed it well, and the fourth quarter just got a little bit away from us.”
West Virginia returns to action Nov. 23 at the Junkanoo Jam in Bimini, The Bahamas. The Mountaineers are set to face Iowa, with tipoff scheduled for 5:15 p.m.