The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

January 11, 2011

No. 6 WVU women at Marquette

MORGANTOWN — In every season there are moments of truth and the West Virginia University women’s basketball has arrived at one.

Unbeaten and ranked No. 6 in the nation, the Mountaineers travel to Milwaukee for a Tuesday night Big East showdown with Marquette at the Al McGuire Center.

Tipoff is at 8 p.m.

This is not just another team in the Big East that West Virginia is playing.

The Golden Eagles bring a 13-3 record into the game to put up against the Mountaineers’ school-record 16-0 start.

Two of the Marquette losses have come in Big East play but before you jump to any conclusions understand that they came against elite teams in the conference, falling 79-47 to Connecticut and 73-55 to Notre Dame.

While West Virginia comes in off a ridiculously easy victory over Cincinnati in which the Mountaineers blocked 17 shots, Marquette soars into the game off a stunning 75-73 double-overtime win over No. 14/15 Georgetown on the Hoyas home court.

Marquette won the game when seldom-used guard Gabi Minix hit a 3-pointer to give the Golden Warriors the lead. Five players reached double figures for Marquette with Tatiyiana McMorris hitting for 19 while Angel Robinson scored 18.

Robinson is Marquette’s leading scorer with 13.8 per game and one of the better players in the Big East. N She also leads the team in assists with 78 and steals with 46.

“We better stop Robinson,” Carey explained. “If you don’t stop her she’ll go all the way to the rim or she’ll pull up for a shot inside the paint or pull up for a 3. She helps them move in transition and she’s very aggressive and physical. She’s a senior so she has a lot of experience. We’ll have to do a good job defending her.”

The Mountaineers also need to defend the3 as Marquette hit 10 3s in the upset at Georgetown.

West Virginia has held opponents to only 27.5 percent shooting from 3-point range, the fourth-best average in the Big East.

“Our whole defensive philosophy is getting up the lanes and denying passes,” said Repella. “When we do that it makes other teams go one on one and that’s what we’re improving on.”

Despite the easy victory over Cincinnati Coach Mike Carey pushed his team through a Monday practice, working on areas that he felt needed strengthening.

“We always try to get better,” Carey said. “You have to continue working on your weaknesses and playing to your strengths.”

One of the strengths the Mountaineers continually play to is senior Liz Repella, the team’s leading scorer with 14.1 points a game.

Most important, however, is to work senior point guard Sarah Miles, who missed a good deal of time in the pre-season and regular season with a pair of injuries back into the mix. Miles is coming along but still is not offering the crisp offense that she provides when at the top of her game.

Carey wanted to ease up a little on Medina Ali, the second leading scorer on the Mountaineers, claiming she looked tired in the Cincinnati game.

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