West Virginia women’s basketball team routs Eastern Kentucky 78-29

CHARLESTON — The West Virginia women’s basketball team scored 20 of the game’s first 22 points and never looked back in a 78-29 win over Eastern Kentucky on Saturday at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center.

Four Mountaineers finished in double figures, led by freshman forward Kari Niblack, who earned her first career double-double with a career-high 18 points and 12 rebounds. Senior guard/forward Naomi Davenport added 16 points, while redshirt junior guard Tynice Martin chipped in with 14 points and seven rebounds. Freshman guard Madison Smith finished with 10 points.

WVU (6-2) never trailed in its second win of the season over Eastern Kentucky. The Mountaineers also took down EKU, 81-39, back in November, at the Junkanoo Jam in Bimini, Bahamas.

“My biggest concern was that we were going to play down,” WVU coach Mike Carey said. “When you beat a team by 40 earlier in the season, then it’s easy to play down. Give them credit, they battled. They ran a lot of good sets that we didn’t do a good job of defending, they just missed shots. Give them some credit. We hit shots, we forced some shots, especially in the second quarter. Overall, you just want to get through this without injuries and get on to the next game.”

On the defensive end, West Virginia held EKU without a field goal for a stretch of nearly seven minutes in the second period. The Colonels shot just 23 percent from the field in the opening half, as WVU headed to the locker room with a 35-16 lead.

West Virginia held a 43-13 scoring advantage after halftime, aided by a season-high 29 points in the fourth quarter.

WVU shot 47.4 percent from the field, combining for nine makes from beyond the arc. The Mountaineers also outrebounded EKU, 46-37, and they forced 20 Colonel turnovers. West Virginia finished 15 of 21 at the free-throw line.

On the defensive end, West Virginia held EKU without a field goal for a stretch of nearly seven minutes in the second period. The Colonels shot just 23 percent from the field in the opening half, as WVU headed to the locker room with a 35-16 lead.

EKU was led by Catie Kaifes’ eight points. The Colonels shot just 20 percent from the field, and it made just three of its 14 free-throw attempts.

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