MORGANTOWN — Sug Sutton and Destiny Littleton combined for 35 points for No. 13 Texas in its 70-58 win over West Virginia on Sunday.
Sutton led all players with 19 points. The guard also added six assists, five rebounds and two steals Sunday.
“I think that it’s always a tough place to play when we come to Morgantown. I told the team that they should be really, really proud of getting this road victory because we went a lot of years here in the Big 12 where we weren’t able to get a win,” Texas coach Karen Aston said after the game. “I thought that West Virginia sort of started the game trying to punch us a little bit, really physical with us, and we didn’t respond to that very well. We couldn’t get the ball moving. Inside of all of that that was going on offensively, [I’m] really proud of our team that they continued to sort of stay the course offensively.”
WVU (9-4, 0-2) opened the first quarter scoring an unanswered 3-pointer and lay-up. The combined five points would stand to be the largest lead of the game by both teams.
The Longhorns (12-2, 2-0) trailed at halftime, shooting just 28 percent in the first half, but willed their way to the win, outscoring the Mountaineers 48-34 in the second half.
Texas managed to capitalize on more second-chance opportunities than WVU, with an 11-4 advantage in that category throughout the game. The Longhorns also outmuscled the Mountaineers underneath — outscoring them 28-18 in points in the paint.
Littleton went off from beyond the arc, scoring three 3-point baskets within four and a half minutes into the second half, which was the difference in the game.
The sophomore scored 14 points in the second half alone. Joyner Holmes joined in the second-half scoring drive, tallying 11 herself. Less than six minutes left in the fourth period, the Longhorns clinched the largest lead of the game at 18 points.
WVU guard/forward Naomi Davenport led the Mountaineers in scoring with 26 points, a season high for the senior. Davenport shot 10 of 17 from the field in the setback, adding seven rebounds, two steals and two assists.
“She’s [Davenport] a difficult matchup. When you really look at it, she’s a perimeter player that’s playing a forward position for them right now. She has an advantage against some bigger kids that she can face up and take out on the perimeter,” Aston said. “I knew that’s what they would do because that’s kind of traditionally how he’s [WVU coach Mike Carey] attacked us. I thought we’d be a little bit better, but she had her way with us. There’s no question about it.
I did think that, as the game wore on, we were able to develop a little bit of an inside presence, which we should have been able to take advantage of. Again, that was definitely not the game plan.”
Tynice Martin and Madison Smith each added nine points in the loss.
WVU struggled shooting the ball in the contest, finishing the game shooting 38.8 percent from the field. The Mountaineers also committed 17 turnovers.
“I thought, especially [in] the first quarter and even most of the second quarter, we were focused, playing hard,” Carey said. “I thought [in] the third quarter we came out not focused; same with the fourth quarter. [We] can’t give up all of those offensive rebounds. We had times where we had posts on us and we didn’t drive them. We settled for 3s. It was won in the paint, won and lost in the paint. Then we lost focus when the score was close in the third quarter and gave up six straight points. I thought the first half, even though we weren’t shooting well, and we weren’t getting good shots, I thought, defensively, rebounding was pretty good. Then in the second half, we just wore down. We wore down, and they just kept substituting, putting other people in there.”
\WVU managed to go on a 12-1 run to pull within six points with less than a minute left, but Texas made its free throws to clinch the victory.