Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

March 19, 2013

WVU women going to the dance

Mountaineers seeded 11th in NCAA tourney

Staff, wire reports
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

MORGANTOWN — Staff, wire reports

MORGANTOWN — The West Virginia women’s basketball team gathered for the NCAA selection show on Monday evening, then began thinking about their next game.

The Mountaineers (17-13), seeded 11th in the Bridgeport Regional, drew a first-round game against sixth-seed Delaware (30-3), to be played at noon Sunday in Newark, N.J.

The winner of that contest will face either third-seeded North Carolina (28-6) or Albany (27-3) on Tuesday in Storrs, Conn. That is the home floor of Connecticut (29-4), a former Big East foe of WVU which has the top seed in the regional with a 29-4 record.

Delaware’s All-American forward Elena Della Donne originally committed to UConn and actually spent a day on campus before deciding Connecticut was not for her, the Associated Press reported.

Della Donne has averaged 25.3 points out of the Blue Hens’ 66.8 points per game this year and has connected on 49 three-pointers.

Delaware enters the tournament riding a school-record 25-game winning streak.

West Virginia has made the NCAA dance in six out of the last seven years, but has lost in the second round the last three seasons.

Christal Caldwell wears No. 1 for West Virginia, and ranks first in points per game with 13.2 on average, and steals with 49 this season. She averages a team-high 28.9 minutes and has started all 30 games in the current campaign.

Ayana Dunning adds 10 points and 6.2 rebounds per contest for the Mountaineers.

In its initial appearance in the Big 12 Conference Tournament on March 9, West Virginia led Oklahoma by 22 points, but the Sooners used a 40-point second half to come back from a 19-point halftime deficit and edge WVU 65-64.

The Mountaineers are 4-6 in their last 10 games.