PITTSBURGH — Though West Virginia squandered most of a 26-point lead at Duquesne, the Mountaineers made enough free throws down the stretch to hold on for an 88-80 win in women’s basketball action Saturday.
Asya Bussie scored 13 of her 17 points in the second half and added 11 rebounds as WVU (10-1) won its 10th straight game and avenged a two-year losing streak to the Dukes (8-4). But it took some clutch foul shooting by the Mountaineers, who made 13-of-16 in the final 1:29.
Duquesne, after trailing 59-33 at the 14-minute mark, came within 84-80 with nine seconds remaining before Brooke Hampton made four free throws to seal the win. West Virginia finished 37-of-43 from the foul line.
“I thought we shot from the foul line extremely well. Better than we have been—thank goodness we did,” WVU coach Mike Carey said.
“Give Duquesne a lot of credit. They fought back. I’m disappointed with how we played after we went up 25, but they played hard and really played harder than we did the last 12 minutes of the basketball game.”
Averee Fields scored a season-high, while TaylorPalmer was 8-for-8 from the free throw line with a 3-pointer for 11 points and Linda Stepney added a season-best 10 points.
After leading 38-20 at halftime, The Mountaineers came out of the break on a 21-3 run.
“I think you saw how hard we can be when we’re rolling and playing in that first eight minutes of the second half,” Carey said.
But the Dukes chipped away and closed to within 72-65 at the 3:33 mark before Palmer’s 3 made it a double-digit game again.
WVU’s bench contributed 30 points, led by Crystal Leary’s eight points. She also added eight rebounds, helping WVU to a 38-31 rebounding advantage.
The Mountaineers shot 43.6 percent from the field, while the Dukes shot 43.9 percent. WVU was a mere 3-of-12 from 3-point range, while Duquesne finished 8-of-21.
April Robinson recorded a game-high 20 points for the Dukes and Olivia Breshnahan came off the bench for 19. Wumi Agunbiade added 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Raegan Moore chipped in 11 points and seven rebounds before fouling out.
The Mountaineers return home for their final conference tuneup against Elon at 2 p.m., on Sunday, Dec. 29.