No. 6 WVU recovers from first defeat
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Madina Ali was making shots from near and far, and that helped No. 6 West Virginia bounce back from its first loss of the season.
Ali scored a career-high 32 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and the Mountaineers used a late run to preserve a 70-61 win over No. 25 Syracuse on Saturday.
West Virginia (17-1, 4-1 Big East) bounced back from a 69-54 loss at Marquette on Tuesday. The Mountaineers improved their school-record home winning streak to 29 games and moved to 3-0 against ranked teams this season.
Syracuse has its first losing streak of the season. The Orange lost at home to Rutgers, 78-67, on Tuesday.
Ali eclipsed her previous high of 20 points set earlier this season against Prairie View. She had led the Mountaineers in scoring for much of the season but saw her average drop in recent weeks to 13 points, second on the team to Repella’s 14-point average.
Ali made 10 of 19 shots and 11 of 15 free throws against the Orange for her fifth double-double of the season and the ninth of her career.
Elashier Hall scored 20 points for Syracuse (13-4, 1-3), which was playing only its second road game of the season. Leading scorer Kayla Alexander went scoreless in the second half and was held to four points, 10 below her average.
Neither team shot well. West Virginia went 23 of 56 (41 percent) from the floor, while Syracuse shot 20 of 51 (39 percent).
West Virginia was outrebounded, 23-11, in the second half and 39-36 for the game.
The Mountaineers went ahead to stay, 48-47, on two Repella free throws midway through the second half.
Syracuse kept pace until the end against the nation’s top scoring defense. Erica Morrow’s jumper brought Syracuse to 56-54 with 5:40 left, but the Orange didn’t get another basket until the closing seconds.
Brooke Hampton and Ali each sank 3-pointers after that, with Ali making her first of the season. Ali then started the decisive 8-0 run with an inside basket after a Repella miss with 1:51 left that put the Mountaineers ahead 64-59.
Morrow and Iasia Hemingway had 12 points apiece for Syracuse.
• Duquesne 61, Dayton 57 — In Dayton, Ohio, Orsi Szecsi scored 11 points, added nine rebounds and made a key free throw with 4 seconds remaining to lead the Dukes to a road victory.
Samantha Pollino scored 13 points, and Alex Gensler had 11 points for Duquesne (15-2, 2-0) .
Justine Raterman scored a game-high 18 points for Dayton (10-7, 1-2).
• Robert Morris 69, Monmouth 56 — Freshman Artemis Spanou had 14 points and 12 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season, and the Colonials defeated Monmouth for their fourth consecutive victory.
Yohanna Martin added 15 points and eight rebounds for Robert Morris (8-7, 5-0 Northeast Conference). Kristine Silaraja scored 11 points, and Mary Durojaye chipped in 10 points.
Erin Rooney led the Hawks (11-5, 3-2) with 14 points.