The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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November 18, 2012

WVU women defeat South Carolina Upstate

MORGANTOWN — Bria Holmes scored a game-high 14 points off the bench to lead a balanced offense as No. 14 West Virginia defeated South Carolina Upstate 75-45 Saturday afternoon.

Jennie Simms also had 11 off the bench for West Virginia, and starter Averee Fields pitched in 10.

Crystal Leary pulled down 10 rebounds for the Mountaineers (3-0), and Ayana Dunning narrowly missed her third consecutive double-double, scoring nine points to go along with eight rebounds while playing with a dislocated thumb that required her to wear a brace on her right hand.  

Tyra Smith had 10 points in the losing effort for SC Upstate (1-3).  

West Virginia led by just four with 6:46 in the first half, but a 16-9 run over the last six minutes helped build an 11-point advantage for the Mountaineers heading into intermission.

After falling behind by double digits in the first half, SC Upstate scored the first basket of the second period, but the Mountaineers responded with a 22-4 run over the next 13 minutes, which included a stretch of 14 unanswered points, to push the lead to 30 with 7:25 left.

A field goal by the Trojans’ Smith with 7:02 remaining finally snapped the run, but the game had been decided at that point.

West Virginia shot 5 of 29 from 3-point range. The Mountaineers have made just 24 percent of their shots from behind the arc this season.  

West Virginia also forced 29 turnovers on 15 steals. It has gotten at least 13 steals in each game this season.

The Mountaineers shot 25 more free throws than the Trojans and also controlled the glass, outrebounding the Spartans 40-29, which included 24 offensive rebounds for West Virginia.

Christal Caldwell, West Virginia’s starting point guard and leading returning scorer from last season, exited the game with an apparent left leg injury with 17:23 remaining in the first half. She returned with 8:12 to go in the first period after receiving treatment on the sideline but played little the rest of the game.

SC Upstate, playing on the road for the fourth straight time, fell to 0-2 against ranked teams this season, having lost its season opener against No. 18 Purdue. The Trojans are 0-7 all-time against ranked teams since joining Division I.

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