The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

December 2, 2010

WVU women host Elon

MORGANTOWN — When West Virginia University’s women’s basketball team, freshly crowned champion of the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands, takes the floor at the Coliseum at 7 p.m. today to play Elon, the Mountaineers will do without their point guard, Sarah Miles.

Again.

 In the past, it seemed that anyone who played for coach Mike Carey could be victimized by the injury jinx. It was so bad at one point that local surgeons were giving him discounts on knee surgeries.

Now, it’s just Miles who suffers the injuries.

The engine that makes the Mountaineers go, Miles opened the season on the bench after fracturing her right hand throwing a pass.

As a sophomore, she broke her nose in the preseason.

Miles’ latest problem occurred in the second game of the three-game Paradise Jam, when she hyper-extended her knee while going for a steal.

“She reached from behind and tried to knock a ball out. She really turned her ankle, but then her knee popped,” Carey explained before practice to get his team ready for its return to the Coliseum.

In some ways, Miles was lucky.

“We had a surgeon come look at her in the Virgin Islands, and he thought it was a little bit more than what it was, so that was good,” Carey said. “I think they said after the MRI it was just a sprain and had fluid in it. She sprained it pretty good. So it’s going to all depend on her range of motion and how soon we can get her back on the floor.”

Carey took one look at Miles, unable to perform, and shakes his head and sort of grins.

“Hell, we’ve got her wrist taped; now we’ve got her knee taped. Pretty soon we’ll have her whole body taped,” he said. “Sarah plays better when nothing’s taped. We have to get the tape off her.”

Miles will have to rest the injury, undergo treatment in the pool and try to restore her range of motion.

In the meantime, freshman Brooke Hampton takes over at the point.

When Miles missed the season opener, Hampton had to run the point in her first collegiate game and responded with eight points while hitting a pair of 3s, giving out four assists while playing 29 minutes.

Then, in the final of the Paradise Jam, she had to start for Miles, and again the youngster from Colts Neck, N.J., was immaculate. Against the No. 17 team in the country, Iowa State, she had seven assists without a turnover while hitting two 3s and grabbing a couple of rebounds.

“I was piecemealing a little bit, but I thought Brooke Hampton came out in the third game and did extremely well,” Carey said. “They played zone, and when they did go man they didn’t pressure us, so that was the kind of game she was confident in.”

The result was WVU played maybe its best game of the season against Iowa State.

“I’ll tell you what, our enthusiasm that last game was unbelievable,” Carey said. “I was a little concerned going in, because I thought here at home we hadn’t played hard, hadn’t executed and hadn’t done what we could do. But I was satisfied the last three games, especially the last one. It looked like they rallied with Sarah not in the game.

“The other girls know when Brooke has the ball, they are going to try to get open because Brooke is going to pass it. She also gives us the capability to hit a couple of 3s. She hit a couple, and it opened it up a little.”

Hampton will most likely see zone defense from Elon, a team that is 4-2 with its most recent victories over Coastal Carolina and Virginia Intermont. Point guard Ali Ford, just 5-2, leads Elon in scoring with 18.2 points a game while also possessing a team-leading 19 assists.

“She shoots it all over the place. We have to contest that.

They have three 3-point shooters. The rest are drivers. They like to attack the rim,” Carey said.

E-mail Bob Hertzel at bhertzel@hotmail.com.

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