MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (Nov. 20, 2022) – The West Virginia University women’s basketball team capped its season-opening homestand with a 72-51 win over Appalachian State on Sunday afternoon, inside the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown.
In the Mountaineers vs. Mountaineers matchup, WVU (3-0, 0-0 Big 12) led App State (1-4, 0-0 Sun Belt) by as many 23 points and never trailed in the game. Additionally, the Mountaineers’ defense forced 20 ASU turnovers and converted 21 points off those opportunities. WVU also registered 11 steals and a season-high four blocks in the contest.
West Virginia’s offense was powered by a career-best, 18-point outing from junior forward Kylee Blacksten. The Colorado Springs, Colorado, native also finished with eight rebounds, a steal and a block.
Blacksten was joined in double figures by fifth-year senior guard Madisen Smith, who tallied 13 points, good for her third consecutive game in double digits. Additionally, senior guard Jayla Hemingway chipped in 11 points of her own and led West Virginia on the glass by hauling in a career-high nine rebounds.
Smith also dished out a season-high eight assists in the victory.
After West Virginia took the early lead in the game and held Appalachian State scoreless going into the media timeout, the visiting Mountaineers went into attack mode and took WVU’s lead down to one with just over two minutes to play in the opening quarter. However, a pair of 3-pointers from junior guard Savannah Samuel and fifth-year senior guard Danni Nichols made it a 14-12 game in favor of West Virginia heading into the second quarter.
WVU padded its lead to eight points to begin the second frame, but App State continued to hang around and cut its deficit to three points with 3:23 remaining in the first half. West Virginia kept firing on offense though, as five points from Smith and two more scores helped the Mountaineers take a 31-22 lead over ASU at halftime.
Appalachian State scored first to begin the second half, but after that, it was all West Virginia, as the Mountaineers would extend their lead to 16 points following the third-quarter media break. App State continued to attack and tried to chip away at WVU’s lead, but West Virginia countered on all fronts to hold a double-digit lead throughout the third period.
WVU held a 51-36 advantage over the visiting Mountaineers heading into the final 10 minutes of the game.
Four consecutive scores to open the fourth quarter pressed West Virginia’s lead to 23 points, its largest of the game, with 8:05 remaining. From there, App State shaved the Mountaineers’ lead back under 20 points four times, but the game had been decided. WVU would coast to the finish line to secure the win and move to 3-0 on the season.
Next up, West Virginia embarks upon its first road trip of the season, as the team gets set for the 2022 Cancun Challenge in Cancun, Mexico, from Nov. 24-25. The Mountaineers are set to take on Central Michigan on Thursday, Nov. 24, at 6:30 p.m. ET, before concluding tournament action against NC State on Friday, Nov. 25, at 4 p.m. Both games will be played at the Hard Rock Resort Riviera Maya in Cancun, and will be broadcast on FloSports and the Mountaineer Sports Network.
Press Release Courtesy of West Virginia University Athletics Communications