The Times West Virginian

January 22, 2012

Caldwell guides WVU women to 54-43 win at Pitt

Times West Virginian

PITTSBURGH — Christal Caldwell’s double-double of 17 points and 12 rebounds paved the way to a 54-43 West Virginia University women’s basketball victory over Pitt Saturday at the Petersen Events Center.

“I thought Christal should have taken a couple other shots. She was hot, and when you’re hot you need to keep shooting. There were a couple other shots she should’ve been more aggressive, but she was good. I thought our girls played hard, especially the first half,” coach Mike Carey said. “We were up the lanes, we played hard, Christal was looking to score, but we got tentative the second half.”

Caldwell recorded 12 points in the opening half on her way to her first-ever double-double, helping the Mountaineers (14-5, 5-2) to a 32-16 halftime lead over the Panthers (8-12, 0-7).

WVU’s shooting slowed from 53.8 percent (14-26) in the first half to 32.3 percent (10-31) in the second half to finish 42.1 percent on the day. Pitt, on the other hand, improved its shooting from 24.1 percent (7-29) to 30.8 percent (8-26), closing out at 27.3 percent on the day.

The Mountaineers’ 12 second-half fouls allowed the Panthers 10 points from the free-throw line, while WVU was only sent to the free-throw line four times, converting a single point. Pitt outscored WVU 27-22 in the closing half.

“I thought we did a great job the first half,” Carey said. “We did in the second half exactly what we’ve been doing and it costs us games. We got out-scored, gave up a bunch of offensive rebounds and put them at the foul line. We can’t do that against some of these opponents we have coming up. We have to play two halves. I don’t know what it is, but we have to correct it really quick because we are not going to win a lot more games if we don’t correct it.”

Behind Caldwell, Asya Bussie had 12 points and seven rebounds, helping WVU to a 30-20 advantage in the paint. Linda Stepney chipped in eight points and dished out three assists. West Virginia took a slight advantage off the glass 39-37.

Ashlee Anderson led Pitt as she had 16 points and eight rebounds. Marquel Davis and Kyra Dunn each added eight and seven points, respectively.

The Mountaineers return home to continue Big East play on Tuesday, against Georgetown. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.