WVU women win; Marshall suffers loss

AMES, Iowa The West Virginia University women’s basketball team defeated No. 24/23 Iowa State 68-66 in a comeback fashion on Sunday at Hilton Coliseum.

The Mountaineers (15-10, 7-7 Big 12) snapped a four-game win streak for the Cyclones (18-6, 9-5 Big 12), handing ISU their second home loss this season in front of a crowd of 11,951. ISU is the second ranked opponent WVU has defeated this season.

WVU came out of a 27-22 halftime deficit and used 68 percent shooting in the closing half to come from behind. Iowa State led by four with 2:38 left when Jess Harlee found Ayana Dunning in the paint for a quick layup and a two-point game, 66-64. Each team remained scoreless until Averee Fields stole the ball from Nikki Moody for a fast break layup and was fouled. Fields converted 1-of-2 from the line with 48 seconds left.

Out of a Cyclone timeout, WVU forced a turnover and Harlee found Fields in the paint for another quick layup and only 12 seconds remaining, for a WVU one-point advantage, 67-66. Moody came down on the following possession and Palmer took a charge under the basket to give the Mountaineers the final possession. Iowa State fouled Brooke Hampton to buy time, but Hampton converted one free throw and WVU stole the ball in the final three seconds to close out the game.

Iowa State opened the game on a 10-0 run as WVU went 0-for-6 from the field, including three missed 3-point attempts. Out of a timeout at the 15:49 mark, West Virginia switched to a full-court press, forcing a steal into the hands of Fields who dished it out to Harlee for a fast break layup to get on the board for the first time. Christal Caldwell grabbed the ball on the next possession for another quick layup en route to a 6-0 WVU run.

ISU responded with back-to-back jumpers, stretching its lead back out to eight, 14-6, with 12:29 remaining. WVU would hold ISU without a field goal for the next 11:07, however the Cyclones would earn nine points from the free throw line to lead by as many as 11 with 1:53 in the first half. Consecutive 3-pointers from Palmer and Holmes helped the Mountaineers cut the deficit to only five at halftime, 27-22.

WVU finished the game shooting 52 percent (26-50), its highest field goal percentage in a Big 12 game this season, and is now 3-0 when shooting better than 50 percent. Iowa State closed out the game with 41.3 percent (19-46) from the field and 23-of-29 (79.3%) from the free throw line. The Mountaineers made 50 percent of their free throws, converting 10-of-20.

UAB 61, Marshall 43

BRMINGHAM, Ala.- Marshall University’s women’s basketball dropped a 61-43 decision to Alabama-Birmingham here Sunday afternoon.

The Thundering Herd fell to 8-16 (2-9 C-USA) with the loss, while UAB improved to 15-9 (6-5 C-USA). UAB swept Marshall for the season as the Blazers also topped the Herd, 61-45, on Jan. 27. Marshall is now 0-6 in C-USA road games.

Erica Woods led Marshall with 11 points and added two steals and two rebounds. Three Herd players followed Woods performance with nine points each including Chukwuka Ezeigbo, Suporia Dickens and Shay Weaver.

Ezeigbo and Leandra King tied for a team-high eight rebounds and each contributed on the offensive glass. King had five boards on the offensive end, while Ezeigbo had four.