The WVU Women's Basketball Team opened the 2017-2018 season with a 113-54 victory over West Virginia Wesleyan Bobcats in exhibition action this afternoon at the coliseum.
Prior to tipoff, the 2017 BiG XII Championship and NCAA tournament banners were raised to the rafters. The returning players from last years team also got their championship rings. That wasn't the only goodies given out as the Coliseum was packed with ghouls, ghosts and goblins as the annual Trunk or Treat night was held before the game.
However, the costume clad kids were not the scariest thing to be witnessed, that belonged to the referees. There was a remarkable 103 whistles blown during the game, with the teams combining for 57 free throw attempts.
The starting lineup for today's exhibition was missing a key piece as Tynice Martin, the reining Big XII Tournament Most Outstanding Player and preseason all Big XII 1st team selection, was still out recovering from a foot injury sustained during the USA Basketball U23 National Team Trails during the summer. Stepping in for Martin was Naomi Davenport, community college transfer, who finished with 19 points prior to fouling out. Joining Davenport in the staring lineup was Chania Ray, Kristina King, Katrina Pardee and Teana Muldrow. Muldrow lead all scorers with a career high 28 points, while six of the nine women who dressed and played for the Mountaineers scored in double figures.
The Mountaineers made a living in the paint scoring 76 of their points there. From behind the arc the team finished 6-16, a 37.5 % clip and from the FT line, they finished 17-28 (60.7 %). This is an area that will need to improve as the season progresses.
The Mountaineers lead by as many as 61 at one point during the game. The defensive pressure caused the Bobcats to commit 31 turnovers and shoot 29.6 % from the field. However, the Mountaineers were sloppy with the ball at times as well, committing 15 turnovers themselves. If the Mountaineers can continue to put this type of pressure on their opponents and cut down on their own miscues, another shot at raising a banner is possible.
The women return to action on November 10th as they open the season at home against Central Connecticut State - the first of 3 straight home games prior to the Paradise Jam in Melbourne, Florida over Thanksgiving weekend.