West Virginia Rallies in Second Half to Defeat UCF


Nov. 19, 2005

Final Stats

ORLANDO - Senior center Yalene Leuchanka recorded a double-double with 20 points and 17 rebounds as West Virginia (1-1) earned a 77-63 second half win over host UCF (1-1) in the final round of the UCF Golden Knights Classic at the UCF Arena on Saturday night.

After the two teams entered the intermission with the score knotted at 38, WVU opened the second half with two quick three-pointers by junior guard Meg Bulger (13 points). The Mountaineers continued to build upon their lead as they hit 14 of 24 chances from the field (58.3%). A layup by sophomore center Olayinka Sanni (19 points) with just under two minutes remaining to play gave the visitors a 15-point advantage (77-62), their largest of night.

On the other end of the court, the Golden Knights, who shot 44% (11-for-25) from the floor in the first half, went 7-for-26 (26.9%) in the second period and finished the game at 35.3%. WVU also outrebounded UCF by a 45-27 margin, but the Golden Knights accounted for only 12 turnovers to West Virginia's 18. The Mountaineers finished the game shooting 58.3% from the floor.

Sanni scored WVU's first points just 20 seconds into the contest. UCF took over the lead for the first time at 16:31 on a three-pointer by junior guard Francine Houston.

West Virginia jumped back out to a one-point lead on Bulger's layup less than 30 seconds later and increased their advantage to as much as nine at 5:26 before UCF began to chip away. A jumper by senior guard LaShay King tied the game at 38 all with 15 seconds remaining in the half.

UCF's outside shooting game was successful in the first period as the team hit five of 11 chances. As a result, Houston finished the night with a team-high 17 points, while King had 11. In the second stanza, the Golden Knights were 0-for-5 from behind the arc.

Freshman center Jackie Akers also contributed 11 points for the Knights.

"We carried great momentum into the locker room at the intermission, but couldn't hang onto it in the second half," said UCF head coach Gail Strielger. "We have to learn to stick to our gameplan for 40 minutes and not rely on our outside shooting in order to win. We have to score some points in the paint."

In the day's first game, junior forward Vivian Ewalefo's 22 points and nine rebounds gave UT-San Antonio (2-0) a 71-61 victory over Florida A&M (0-2). Sophomore guard Evette Young posted 17 points for the Rattlerettes.

The Golden Knights return to action on Nov. 25 when they square off against Butler in the first round of the Hilton Concord Thanksgiving Classic in Moraga, Calif. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET.