The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

December 9, 2009

WVU women cruise by Eastern Kentucky

MORGANTOWN — There’s no reason to insult anyone’s intelligence and ask them to get excited because their West Virginia women’s basketball team is rolling past a group of opponent’s that would hardly qualify as much more than Joe Louis’ “Bum of the Month Club” when he ruled the world as heavyweight boxing champion.

But these 20-point and more victories time after time, the latest being Tuesday night’s 60-40 waltz past Eastern Kentucky, do serve a purpose for this is a team that is learning on the run and if it makes a couple of bad passes, walks on occasion or even double dribbles its way to 20 turnovers, that is part of the growing pains.

There are an awful of freshmen, headed by the 6-4 Aysa Bussie, who reached a career high with 19 points for a rather sparse gathering of 712 spectators to enjoy, and a host of wounded players from a year ago all trying to come together while Sweet Sarah Miles learns to operate the point.

Miles is the glue that holds everything together, the engine that drives the team and the sparkplug that drives the engine.

“We’re all still learning,” Bussie would say after WVU went to 8-1, its only loss to a highly ranked Ohio State team. “Sarah has been excellent. We’re all trying to grow with each game.”

While others are turning the ball over at an alarming rate, Miles has been steady as she moves from the 2-guard to the 1-guard, where her responsibility changes completely.

“I have to pass first, then look to shoot. I’m adjusting to that,” she said.

Indeed she is.

In this latest victory, she settled for eight points on four of six shooting. She probably could have 18 or 28, but instead she ran the break, played tough defenses and put players in positions where they could succeed.

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Bob Herzel
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