WVU Women’s Basketball Opens Season With Win
Senior forward Naomi Davenport recorded West Virginia’s first triple-double in more than 30 years and redshirt junior guard Tynice Martin had a 20-point performance, leading the No. 25 West Virginia University women’s basketball team to a 78-37 victory over Coppin State in Tuesday’s 2018-19 season opener at the WVU Coliseum.
Davenport recorded 13 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists to help the Mountaineers secure their 12th season-opening win in the last 13 years. Martin led all scorers with 24 points and 11 rebounds, while senior guard Katrina Pardee chipped in with 16 points. Freshman guard Madisen Smith saw her first career start in her collegiate debut, finishing with five points and a steal. Senior Center Theresa Ekhelar added seven points and five blocks.
The Mountaineers never trailed, blowing by the visiting Eagles.
“Right now, we only have eight players, so it is what it is. It seems like déjà vu from last year,” coach Mike Carey said. “I thought we were hitting shots against their zone. We were playing man and chasing them around everywhere. At times I thought we got to the ball, other times we just got tired and worn down. Then our shots were short, but that’s obvious why it was short.”
Davenport opened the scoring, using a jumper and a fast-break layup to give WVU a 4-0 lead less than 90 seconds into the contest. Martin hit the free-throw line for a pair to make it 6-0 before Pardee netted her first 3-pointer of the season. Martin hit one from beyond the arc soon after as the Mountaineers claimed a 12-4 lead over the Eagles midway through the first quarter.
A 5-0 WVU run made it a 17-6 advantage before Coppin State hit a jumper and a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to seven with just over two minutes to play in the first quarter. A late bucket by freshman forward Kari Niblack gave the Mountaineers the 19-11 lead at the end of the first.
Smith picked up her first career points on a triple to start the second quarter, pushing the WVU lead to 22-13. Davenport added two in the paint, followed by a fast break layup from Pardee that made the Mountaineer advantage 29-15 with five to play in the half.
Martin added a trey before sophomore guard Nia Staples picked up the bucket and the free-throw to make it a 20-point WVU lead at 35-15. Davenport added a pair at the charity stripe as West Virginia limited Coppin State to just one field goal and a pair of free-throws in the quarter, taking a 42-15 lead at the half.
It was Martin again with the triple to start the third as WVU pushed it to a 30-point lead. Pardee added another from beyond the arc before Martin hit the charity stripe for a 50-16 WVU lead just a minute-and-a-half into the frame. A Pardee steal led to a Martin layup on the fast break, and two points from Davenport in the paint soon after led to a 36-point advantage for West Virginia with just under three to play in the third.
Freshman Jala Jordan added a shot at the free-throw line, and Coppin State added a late bucket as the Mountaineers carried a 61-28 lead into the fourth quarter.
Davenport completed the triple-double, the sixth in school history, at 4:09 mark of the fourth quarter, when she found Pardee at the top of the key for a 3-pointer. That gave the Mountaineers a 72-35 lead, as they coasted to the finish line. Davenport became the fifth player in program history to record a triple-double, and the first since Dionne Morris’ 12-point, 11-rebound, 10-assist performance against St. Bonaventure on Dec. 21, 1987.
WVU finished 27-of-63 (42.9%) from the field and made nine 3’s as a team. It also finished 15-of-19 from the free throw line and outrebounded the Eagles, 50-36. The Mountaineers recorded assists on 21 of their 27 field goals.
Coppin State went 11-of-57 (19.3%) as a team, and was held without a 3-point bucket. Chance Graham led the team with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
West Virginia is back in action on Sunday, Nov. 11, when it hosts NJIT. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. ET at the WVU Coliseum.
Notes: West Virginia opened its 46th season on Tuesday night … Naomi Davenport recorded the sixth double-double in WVU women’s basketball history with 13 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists… she is the first player to register a double-double since Dionne Morris did so against St. Bonaventure in December 1987… Davenport is the first Big 12 player to record a triple-double since Baylor’s Alexis Jones did so on Jan. 29, 2017… redshirt junior guard Tynice Martin recorded her second career double-double with 24 points and 11 rebounds… the game marked Martin’s first official game since the 2017 NCAA Tournament… WVU limited Coppin State to a shooting percentage of 6.3 percent (1-for-16) in the second quarter, a record-low for the WVU defense… West Virginia moves to 11-0 against Coppin State… the Mountaineers have now won five straight season openers, dating back to 2014-15… WVU moves to 15-3 in season-opening games under coach Mike Carey… West Virginia also moves to 234-57 at home in nonconference games.