Nov. 22, 2004
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MORGANTOWN, W. Va. -
Northwestern could not keep its unbeaten streak against West Virginia alive on Monday night, falling 89-55 in the second game of the season. The Wildcats (0-2//0-0 Big Ten) struggled to contain the Mountaineer offense, allowing three players to score in the double digits--including a pair that recorded 24 points each.
"West Virginia is a heck of a ball club," said Head Coach Beth Combs. "They are extremely athletic and always look to run. We did not come ready to compete tonight."
The Mountaineers (2-0//0-0 Big East) were able to capitalize early in the game, going on multiple runs of five, six and seven points to increase their lead that measured 49-26 at the half. Sherell Sowho was especially effective, hitting seven-of-eight for 18 points in the opening stanza.
The Wildcats started three freshmen in the contest: Kelly Rae Finley (Edina, Minn./The Breck School), Melissa Miller (Bloomington, Minn./The Breck School) and Sara Stutz (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South). The trio of rookies combined for 19 points, including 10 from Stutz, who played a team-leading 31 minutes.
"We had three freshmen on the floor much of the time and they all got better as the game went on," said Combs. "We look to play the young kids a lot this season and get them the experience they will need to play at a high level."
For the second consecutive game, senior Suzanne Morrison (Franklin, Mich./Detroit Country Day) scored in the double figures (12) and Samantha McComb (Farmington Hills, Mich./North Farmington) led NU with helpers (five). Sarah Kwasinski grabbed a team-high eight boards.
Northwestern was held to 36.5 percent shooting in the game. West Virginia drained 62.1 percent of their attempts, including 61.6 percent from beyond the arc. Both teams were evenly matched with steals, turnovers and fouls.
"We knew what we were in for, but that does not excuse the start we had," said Combs. "We simply need to do a better job in transition defense."
The 'Cats have one day to prepare for their home opener against Western Michigan on Wednesday. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Welsh-Ryan Arena.