SAVANNAH, Ga. - Atlanta native Tynice Martin
excelled in her return home to Georgia, scoring a career-high 28 points in the No. 19/23-ranked West Virginia University women’s basketball team’s, 80-64, win over North Carolina A&T on day one of the Savannah Invitational on Tuesday evening at the Savannah Civic Center.
West Virginia (4-0) came out on fire with a 22-2 run in the first quarter. The Aggies (1-3) outscored WVU, 24-13, in the third quarter to trim the Mountaineer lead to 13. However, a 9-1 West Virginia run in the fourth quarter helped the Mountaineers squash the North Carolina A&T comeback attempt, as WVU collected its fourth victory of the year.
Martin made 9-of-15 from the field and finished with a career-best 28 points, while dishing out three assists and collecting two steals. She connected on 9-of-9 from the charity stripe, pushing her consecutive free throw streak to 28 makes since March 18, 2016.
West Virginia shot 44.6 percent (25-of-56) from the field and 32.2 percent (19-of-59) from behind the three-point line. North Carolina A&T was the fifth straight Mountaineer opponent to shoot less than 40 percent, connecting on 19-of-59 for 32.2 percent. The Aggies made 6-of-13 from behind the arc for 46.2 percent. WVU won the rebound battle, 41-37, and outscored NC A&T, 22-14 in the paint.
“I thought we came out with a lot of intensity, moving the ball well and scoring,” coach Mike Carey said. “We were up the lanes playing and then we got a little tired. We came off the bench and we weren’t as effective off the bench. In the second half, I thought we came out flat. We gave up way too many offensive rebounds and turnovers again. Those are two areas that we’ve got to continue to get better at.”
The Mountaineers sprinted out to a 22-2 and held a 28-8 advantage at the end of the first quarter. In a stretch halfway through the quarter, Martin made four consecutive free throws and hit two jumpers as Pardee netted a triple to push the Mountaineers lead to 20. West Virginia made 9-of-18 (50%) from the field in the opening quarter and limited the Aggies to 3-of-20 (15.0%).
The second half was much closer as the Aggies became the first WVU opponent to reach 20 points in a quarter this season. Montgomery and Muldrow were limited in the quarter with two fouls each. The Mountaineers led 52-28 at the break. WVU shot 51.5 percent (17-of-33) from the field compared to NC A&T’s 23.5 percent (8-of-34). Martin led all scorers with 18 points, while Muldrow led the team with seven rebounds.
It was a continuation of the second half for North Carolina A&T, as the Aggies jumped out on a 14-3 run to trim the game to 55-42 with 6:30 remaining. Dana Brown’s jumper with 49.5 seconds left in the quarter cut the Mountaineer advantage to 65-52. Brown finished with 22 points to lead the Aggies. WVU made just three field goals in the third period.
A 9-1 fourth quarter start extended the Mountaineer lead back to 21 points with 6:44 remaining. Montgomery and Ray made back-to-back layups followed by a Martin jumper. The exclamation point to the run was a Muldrow slicing layup that drew the and-one opportunity which she connected on to put WVU up 74-53.
No. 19/23 West Virginia returns to action on Wednesday, Nov. 23, in a 4:30 p.m. contest against East Carolina. Fans can listen to Dan Zangrilli with the call on the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG, WVUsports.com, TuneIn and the WVU Gameday app.
West Virginia has held its last five opponents to less than 40 percent shooting … Tynice Martin
netted a career-high 28 besting her previous of 27 against Howard on Nov. 15 … Martin made 9-of-9 from the free throw line to extend her consecutive free throw streak to 28 … Teana Muldrow
tallied 15 points and grabbed a season-best nine rebounds … Desiree Rhodes
reached a career-high with six points ... The Mountaineers are now 3-0 against the MEAC this season … West Virginia moved up to spots to No. 23 in the USA TODAY
Sports Coaches Poll released earlier on Tuesday.