MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Ameryst Alston scored 29 points and Ohio State overcame a huge rebounding deficit to knock off West Virginia 70-61 in the women’s basketball season opener.
Asya Bussie contributed 14 points and nine rebounds in her first game back for the Mountaineers after missing last season with a knee injury. WVU owned the boards 53-36 but shot only 30 percent compared to the Buckeyes’ 45 percent.
Christal Caldwell led WVU with 17 points, though she was only 6-of-17 from the floor. Bria Holmes’ 12 points came on 5-of-15 shooting, including 0-of-5 from 3-point range.
WVU finished 2-of-20 from long distance.
“Ohio State was ready,” coach Mike Carey said. “They executed better than we did. They handled the ball better and they shot foul shots better than we did. You can’t go 2-for-20, miss 11 foul shots and turn the ball over 16 times against the zone. You’re not going to win.”
Ohio State led 41-40 at intermission before extending to a 12-point lead with 9:42 to play.
Bussie’s three-point play cut the margin to 62-58 with 4:23 left, but WVU missed its next three jumpers and 4-of-5 fouls shots while committing two turnovers.
Alston committed five turnovers, but the Buckeyes’ sophomore point guard had six assists and three steals to go along with her big scoring night.
“We turned sideways and let her go straight in the block,” Carey said. “She powered up over top of us. We tried different things. We tried to put bigger guards on her to trap her. We weren’t consistent and we didn’t stay focused. I’ll give her credit. She had a great game.”
Ohio State’s Cait Craft contributed 15 points and eight rebounds, while Martina Ellerbe had 12 points and six boards.