HARTFORD, Conn. — A week after defeating St. John’s by 20 points in Morgantown, the West Virginia women’s basketball team dropped a 59-51 decision to the Red Storm in the second round of the Big East Tournament, dashing the Mountaineers’ hopes of a conference championship.
“It’s very simple,” West Virginia head coach Mike Carey said. “You look at points off turnovers and second-chance points, we got outhustled. They wanted it more than we did.”
St. John’s advances to face second-seeded DePaul in the conference quarterfinals.
Sarah Miles led three Mountaineers in double figures with 15 points. Asya Bussie scored 12 points and had seven rebounds, while Liz Repella finished with a double-double, scoring 10 points and pulling down a game-high 11 rebounds.
Da’Shena Stevens led the Red Storm with 14 points and eight rebounds. Shenneika Smith and Centhya Hart also reached double figures, scoring 13 and 11 points, respectively.
West Virginia found itself in a hole early, trailing 9-4, but was able to put together an 8-0 run during the next couple of minutes to grab its first lead.
St. John’s responded with a run of its own. But this one gave them the lead for good.
Sparked by four points from Stevens, the Red Storm went on a 12-2 run to lead 21-14, their biggest lead of the first half.
“Everybody was kind of one the same page, and we just wanted to go out and perform,” Stevens said. “That’s what we’ve been able to do. When we need to get those baskets, we get those baskets.”
West Virginia wouldn’t go away. Down 36-29 early in the second half, Miles and Bussie took over, and the Mountaineers eventually evened the score.
The teams began exchanging buckets from long range, but the Mountaineers were never able to put together another run to sway momentum for good. St. John’s did, ending the game on an 11-3 run.
“We thought that the run would come, but it didn’t,” Bussie said. “We were just one step behind the whole game, and we just couldn’t finish out the game.”