No. 10 West Virginia 69, Duquesne 58

West Virginia’s Madina Ali wasn’t about to celebrate a

double-double that included a career-high in points, not when coach

Mike Carey was steamed about the 10th-ranked Mountaineers’

lackluster effort.

Ali had 19 points and 10 rebounds, Liz Repella added 18 points

and West Virginia watched a big lead shrink before putting away

Duquesne 69-58 on Wednesday night.

”It’s like a bittersweet feeling,” Ali said. ”You’re happy,

but you know as a whole, we’ve just got to get better. We have

something to prove to coach Carey, just to let him know that we can

be that defensive team that he wants us to be and offensively run

his sets properly.”

Other than Ali and Repella, who combined to shoot 15 of 29 from

the floor, the Mountaineers struggled.

West Virginia committed 20 turnovers, was outrebounded 37-33 and

shot just 30 percent (7 of 23) from the floor in the second

half.

”We got outhustled,” Carey said. ”They played harder than we

did. It’s embarrassing how we didn’t play hard, it’s embarrassing

how we didn’t execute.”

West Virginia (2-0) defeated the Dukes for the 11th straight

time and earned its school-record 21st consecutive home win dating

to the end of the 2008-09 season. But it was hardly easy.

West Virginia let a 20-point lead slip to seven midway through

the second half before turning up their defensive pressure to keep

the Dukes from getting any closer.

”I think they got a little tired, but then we went with our

veterans down the stretch and got some stops,” Carey said.

”There’s no doubt our veterans know how to play defense.”

Ali’s basket 18 seconds into the second half gave the

Mountaineers a 48-28 lead. But she didn’t score again and Duquesne

made it respectable by forcing turnovers, getting easy layups and

going to the free-throw line.

Vanessa Abel had a layup and three free throws during a 10-0 run

that brought Duquesne within 56-49 with 10:18 left. But the Dukes

managed just two field goals the rest of the game.

Freshman Orsi Szecsi scored 13 points off the bench for Duquesne

(1-1).

Duquesne had scored 40 points in the first half of a

season-opening win over Lehigh last week and got off to a good

start against the Mountaineers in the first of six consecutive road

games for the Dukes.

Duquesne got several rebounds and inside baskets in jumping to a

13-8 lead. Carey called a timeout two minutes into the game to give

his starters an earful.

Carey was especially angry after the game that many of his

players failed to pass the ball effectively near the basket.

West Virginia used 11 players and Carey said he’s going to use

only seven or eight if that means a more effective effort.

”I don’t care if it’s early in the season,” he said. ”I’m

going to play people that’s going to listen.”

West Virginia returns to action Friday night against Delaware

State, but Carey would prefer to get the mistakes corrected

first.

”I’d like to have about a week to practice,” he said.

West Virginia guard Sarah Miles, the reigning Big East defensive

player of the year, saw her first action a month after undergoing

wrist surgery. She fell on her right arm underneath the basket

after making a pass in the first half but remained in the game. She

finished with one point and four steals in 22 minutes and her wrist

was sore afterward.

”I think it’s going to take a little bit to get back into the

flow of things,” Miles said.

Despite West Virginia’s sloppiness, Duquesne coach Suzie

McConnell-Serio believes the Mountaineers deserve their high

ranking and will get even better when Miles is fully healthy.

”They have key players at every position to hurt you,”

McConnell-Serio said. ”They have shooters. They have penetrators.

They have scorers and post players. They have so many

weapons.”