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Second-half shooting sinks Saint Francis

Women's College Basketball: West Virginia 74, Saint Francis 45

MORGANTOWN, WV — Saint Francis battled with West Virginia for over half the game on Thursday night — only trailing around the midway point of the third quarter.

Unfortunately, the Red Flash went cold from the field, and the Mountaineers showed why they were supposed to win by closing out the game on a big run to capture a 74-45 victory at the WVU Coliseum.

SFU, which shot just 4-of-30 in the second half, falls to 0-2 to start the season, while the game was the opener for WVU.

The game featured nine lead changes and seven ties as the Red Flash reached their largest lead of the night when Bishop Guilfoyle graduate Lili Benzel drilled a 3-pointer at 6:29 of the opening quarter to put the visitors on top 8-2.

A Sam Miller jumper in the paint with just one second on the clock in the first allowed the Red Flash to tie the game at 17-17.

Miller would convert a layup at 3:38 of the second quarter to give Saint Francis its final lead at 28-27.

West Virginia closed out the half on a 13-0 run to take a 40-28 lead into the break.

SFU didn’t roll over as they exited the locker room and cut the lead in half (40-34) when Haley Thomas connected on a free throw at 5:42.

A 13-3 Mountaineer run closed out the third stanza and gave them a 16 point edge.

The Red Flash had run out of gas at that point as they were only able to connect on one field goal — a Benzel 3-pointer with 5:34 left to play.

Saint Francis would be held scoreless as they went 0-of-7 from the floor to close out the game.

Miller led the Red Flash with 14 points and six rebounds, while Bellwood-Antis graduate Karson Swogger was the only other player in double figures with 11.

SFU rebounded well with the Mountaineers as they only lost the board battle by a 39-37 difference.

Kysre Gondrezick buried four from downtown and led all scorers with 24 points for WVU.

SAINT FRANCIS (0-2): Miller 5-12 2-2 14, Swogger 3-12 3-4 11, Benzel 2-9 0-0 6, Sabino 1-5 2-3 5, Thomas 0-1 1-2 1, Dapaa 1-2 2-2 4, Allen 0-6 2-4 2, Kovac 0-0 2-2 2, Mastellone 0-2 0-0 0, Dettwiller 0-0 0-0 0, Murphy 0-2 0-0 0, Carroll 0-0 0-0 0. Totals — 12-51 14-19 45.

WEST VIRGINIA (1-0): Gondrezick 8-17 4-4 24, Niblack 4-8 2-5 10, Rudd 1-5 0-0 2, Smith 1-5 0-0 2, Ejiofor 1-4 0-0 2, Norris 5-8 0-1 10, Martinez 4-6 1-4 9, McElroy 3-4 2-2 8, Deans 2-4 3-4 7. Totals — 29-61 12-20 74.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Saint Francis 17 11 9 8 — 45

West Virginia 17 23 13 21 — 74

3-point goals: Saint Francis 7-25 (Miller 2-4, Swogger 2-6, Benzel 2-8, Sabino 1-3, Dapaa 0-1, Murphy 0-1, Allen 0-2); West Virginia 4-13 (Gondrezick 4-8, Smith 0-1, Martinez 0-1, McElroy 0-1, Rudd 0-2). Assists: Saint Francis 9 (Sabino 3); West Virginia 12 (Rudd 5). Rebounds: Saint Francis 37 (Miller, Dapaa 6 each); West Virginia 39 (Martinez 8).

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