W. Virginia pulls off upset of Xavier
Posted: Sunday March 18, 2007 2:03AM; Updated: Sunday March 18, 2007 2:03AM
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- West Virginia outmuscled Xavier and the Mountaineers are moving on.
West Virginia's Olayinka Sanni controlled the paint, scoring 20 points to lead the 11th-seeded Mountaineers to a 65-52 win Saturday night in the first round of the Fresno Regional.
Sanni scored 17 in the second half and grabbed eight rebounds in her matchup with 6-foot-5 Amber Harris, who stands four inches taller than Sanni.
Harris, the Atlantic 10 rookie of the year, had 19 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks for the sixth-seeded Musketeers (26-8), but couldn't stop Sanni.
Chakhia Cole scored 21 points for West Virginia (21-10).
Defensively, West Virginia held Joei Clyburn, the Atlantic 10 tournament MVP, to four points, all on free throws. Clyburn, who transferred from WVU before the 2005-06 season, managed to get off only one shot the entire game.
WVU was fourth in the Big East and finished with its most regular season wins in 15 years but got off to a slow start, missing seven of its first eight shots.
The Mountaineers took the lead midway through the first half on Cole's 3-pointer, then closed with a 17-4 run that made it 31-18 by halftime. With Clyburn struggling to get off a shot and Suntana Granderson mired in a 4-of-18 shooting night, Xavier was in a hole the Musketeers couldn't get out of.
Sanni scored the Mountaineers' first eight points of the second half, muscling past Harris each time, as WVU built a 41-25 lead.
Struggling to hold her ground under the basket, Harris ended up moving out to launch 3-pointers, where she shot just 29 percent on the season.
Harris did hit two 3-pointers to help get Xavier within 56-45 with just over four minutes to play, but Xavier went 7-of-27 from long range as a team and never threatened a rally. Granderson was 3-of-11.
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