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WVU Women’s Basketball

WVU Women’s Basketball Wins Backyard Brawl 71-62



WVU women's basketball at Pitt

PITTSBURGH — The WVU Women’s Basketball team won the Backyard Brawl with a 71-62 victory over Pitt, stifling the Panthers with a dominant defensive performance.

West Virginia forced 19 turnovers—off which they scored 20 points—in the first half alone. The Panthers tightened up in the second half, giving the Mountaineers a scare, but West Virginia still managed to cruise to their second win of the season. Mountaineers’ guard Lauren Fields led the team with 23 points, while Kyah Watson managed a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds.

Mountaineers Set the Tone

West Virginia won the opening tipoff and guard Ja’naiya Quinerly set the tone, weaving through the Panthers’ defense to break the ice with a jumper just five seconds in. The Mountaineers continued to push the pace, building an 11-4 lead in the first 135 seconds of the game.

Pitt responded with a quick timeout, regrouping to close the deficit to two with a 10-5 run. The Mountaineers pulled away again before the end of the first quarter, establishing a 23-16 lead with the help of five Panthers’ turnovers.

West Virginia kept their foot on the gas in the second quarter, going up 35-16 before Pitt managed their first basket of the frame. Once again, the Panthers managed to claw their way back into the game, limiting the Mountaineers to just four points in the last 6:47 as they narrowed the lead to 39-29.

The Panthers slowed things down in the second half, cleaning up their turnovers as they began the third quarter on an 11-0 run to take their first lead of the afternoon. From there, Fields sank a pair of three-pointers to help stop the bleeding.

Pitt again closed the gap to one, but the Mountaineers coasted to a 54-47 lead heading into the fourth quarter. West Virginia responded to each of the Panthers’ attempts to get back in the game over the final frame, staying one step ahead on the way to the 71-62 win.

Backyard Brawl Tidbits

  • Panthers guard and Fairmont, W.Va. native Marley Washenitz set an ignominious Pitt program record with 12 turnovers.
  • Pitt also tied a program record for turnovers as a team with 28: the previous high also came in a game against the Mountaineers.
  • This marks the first Backyard Brawl for both head coaches, WVU women’s basketball head coach Mark Kellogg and Pitt women’s basketball head coach Tory Verdi.

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