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The 22nd ranked West Virginia women’s basketball team notched their fourth victory in a row on Saturday afternoon in the Florida Sunshine Classic outlasting No. 19 Michigan State 63-57.

Kari Niblack sank the first seven of ten points for the Mountaineers which gave West Virginia a 10-8 advantage halfway through the opening quarter.

The Spartans answered with a three-pointer and a pair of free throws from Nia Clouden, which gave Michigan State the lead before Kirsten Deans responded with a three to tie the game.

Taryn McCutcheon gave the Spartans a five-point advantage two minutes into the second quarter after a mid=range jumper. Then Michigan State built a seven-point lead with three minutes remaining in the half on a Nia Hollie three.

West Virginia answered with back-to-back layups from Niblack and Blessing Ejiofor to end the half to get the Mountaineers within three points, 30-27.

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The Mountaineers came out on fire in the second half going on a 12-4 run out of the behind a pair of Kysre Gondrezick three-pointers.  Deans then nailed a three-pointer with a little over a minute remaining in the half to give the Mountaineers the 45-42 lead.

Niblack nailed a trio of free throws before sinking a layup to extend the West Virginia margin to four points after a couple Clouden free throws for Michigan State three minutes into the final quarter. 

Following a three-minute scoring drought halfway through the quarter, the Mountaineers were able to hold onto their lead behind a Tynice Martin three and layup.

A quartet of free throws from Martin and Gondrezick closed out the 63-57 West Virginia victory. 

Niblack led the way for West Virginia on the night while totaling 21 points, which was followed by Gondrezick’s 14 points and Martin’s 11 points for the Mountaineers that finished in double digits.

West Virginia will now take on Syracuse tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 p.m. for the second game of the Florida Sunshine Classic.