No. 10 West Virginia 69, Duquesne 58

BY foxsports • November 18, 2010

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.''