The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

November 25, 2013

Bussie, WVU topple Virginia, 68-58

MORGANTOWN — It was a strange enough feeling for Asya Bussie, standing there for the national anthem in the Coliseum before a game she was about to play and West Virginia was about to win, 68-58.

After all, she had done that really only once in more than a year, that being the season-opening game against Ohio State.

Last year was a lost year, one she sat out healing a knee injury.

So there she stood, the carpet already having been rolled out, the anthem playing and the opponents, a good Virginia team that had won three of its first four games, standing at attention.

Bussie took a look around the arena and suddenly stopped to focus on a tall man standing not far from the West Virginia bench, a familiar face, but one that was supposed to have been at Xavier University in New Orleans.

Surprise!

Her brother, very much a look-alike, had snuck into town.

Man, she was happy — and ready to put on a show.

Maybe too happy, for two minutes into the game she possessed two fouls — “stupid fouls,” she would call them — and was back on the bench, where she would remain until halftime.

WVU played fine without her, leading throughout that half, the biggest lead at 14 points but leading only by seven at halftime.

She was reinserted in the second half, immediately made her presence felt with a basket, but it wasn’t long before a lady named Ataira Franklin dropped in a couple of 3s to ignite a run that put the score at 49-48, with Virginia actually shooting a pair of free throws for the lead, free throws the Cavaliers would miss.

WVU coach Mike Carey took a timeout here for a very specific reason.

“I had to take a timeout to introduce them to Asya Bussie,” Carey said. “They seemed to forget she was on the team.”

Indeed, Virginia was gathering a trio of players around Bussie and WVU had felt it needed to gun from the outside, forgetting they are a team that must play from the inside out. If they get her the ball and the defense collapses, she can kick it out ... and does.

And if it doesn’t collapse, she scores inside.

This time they went to work.

Bussie hit a free throw, then a basket on a nifty feed from Brooke Hampton, then grabbed a rebound off a missed free throw by Linda Stepney, was fouled and scored two free throws, a rare sight on a night she went 4 of 11 from the line, but that got the lead back up to 7 and it would grow to 14 again and never really be challenged.

Bussie finished with a double-double playing just two minutes in the first half but never coming out in the second half, adding 10 rebounds to her 14 points. She went 5 for 7 from the field and now has made 21 of her last 26 shots since the loss in the opening game against Ohio State.

The triple teams, apparently, haven’t really bothered her.

“I have to get used to them,” she said. “They are going to happen all season. I just can’t pick up two fouls like that.”

West Virginia is off until Saturday at Youngstown State.

Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel.

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Bob Herzel
  • HERTZEL COLUMN: NCAA football is thriving in the digital age

    The other day Baylor football coach Art Briles walked into his graduate assistants’ office and had to laugh at what he saw.
    “There’s five guys sitting in there — a couple of GA’s and some office personnel — and they all are within a foot and a half of each other and not a one of them is talking to each other,” Briles said, describing the scene “Every one of them is on the phone.”

    April 24, 2014

  • O’Brien leads WVU baseball past Marshall

    Catcher Cam O’Brien made a bid at becoming only the second West Virginia University player to hit for the cycle as the Mountaineers jumped on Marshall early and routed their in-state rival, 10-3, behind strong pitching from Corey Walter and a pair of relievers.

    April 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- WVU faithful again have a reason to root against Vick

    It would be one final indignation, that’s what it would be if Michael Vick were to beat out Geno Smith and win the starting quarterback job with the New York Jets.

    April 23, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Luck open to WVU fans’ suggestions

    West Virginia’s fans have spoken, perhaps not verbally but nonetheless have had their voices heard, over the past few years as attendance has fallen at the Mountaineers’ football and basketball games.

    April 22, 2014

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    Looking to put together a late-season run to get into the NCAA championships, West Virginia faces a pair of midweek rivalry games in a crucial five-game week coming off winning two of three games at Oklahoma.

    April 22, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Summer, Alabama will be used to get WVU’s mind right

    The ink had barely dried on the final reports out of West Virginia’s spring practice when thoughts turned forward toward the lazy, hazy days of late summer, days that will bring us into football season with a game that can either change the entire image of WVU football or sour it even further.

    April 21, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Watson tees off a new century at The Greenbrier

    You knew this was going to be one of those unpredictable, memorable days when you drove into the Greenbrier Resort and headed to the Old White Golf Course and found the best parking place in the joint.
    As Bob Uecker would say, right there in the front rooooow.

    April 20, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Under pressure, NCAA decides to change rules

    At first glance, it appears that they do not go hand-in-hand, a pair of rules changes the NCAA’s Legislative Council approved this week, sending them off for what seems to be smooth sailing toward becoming rules.

    April 18, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU gymnast hopes to stick her final landing

    The reaction, one suspects, was the same as most people who see either a picture of West Virginia University gymnast Hope Sloanhoffer or meet her for the first time in person — a quick double take, maybe even stumbling over the first few words of an introduction.

    April 17, 2014

  • Bussie looks forward to WNBA

    On Tuesday, the weather turned cold, the wind blew and amongst the raindrops that fell a few snowflakes fluttered quietly to Earth.
    It was as if it was a celebration of Asya Bussie being drafted on Monday night by the Minnesota Lynx, champions of the WNBA, with the third selection of the second round, the 15th overall pick of the draft.

    April 16, 2014

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