UConn beats No. 17 W.Va. 57-51

Posted Feb. 08, 2011, at 9:17 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 08, 2011, at 9:33 p.m.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Maya Moore scored 27 points and No. 2 Connecticut needed a second-half comeback to hold off No. 17 West Virginia 57-51 Tuesday night.

Connecticut (23-1, 11-0 Big East) overcame its second halftime deficit of the season and a 17 turnovers to beat West Virginia for the 23rd straight time.

West Virginia (20-5, 6-5 Big East) couldn’t keep the momentum of a strong first half going and lost for the fourth time in five games.

Freshman Stefanie Dolson added 10 points for Connecticut.

Madina Ali led West Virginia with 17 points and Liz Repella added 13.

Connecticut trailed 29-27 at halftime and didn’t take its first lead until early in the second half. Moore scored 15 points after halftime, including eight straight for the Huskies down the stretch to dash West Virginia’s hopes for the biggest upset in school history.

Still, Connecticut was held to its lowest point total of the season, falling short of their 63-point effort last month against Rutgers.

The Mountaineers didn’t have much success clamping down on Moore, but they held third-leading scorer Bria Hartley to six points and second-leading scorer Tiffany Hayes to four.

The game pitted two of the nation’s top three teams in scoring defense. But West Virginia’s defensive intensity took the energy out of the Mountaineers on the offensive end. They went nearly 7 minutes without a field goal spanning both halves.

West Virginia shot 30 percent (16 of 54) for the game, making 5 field goals after halftime.

Connecticut trailed 29-27 at halftime and didn’t take its first lead of the game until Kelly Faris hit a 3-pointer to put the Huskies ahead 32-29 with 17:39 remaining.

And they didn’t go ahead to stay until Moore came off a screen and hit a 15-footer for a 38-36 lead with 12:01 left.

Repella, West Virginia’s leading scorer, had eight points in the first 5 minutes of the game but she didn’t score again until hitting a 3-pointer midway through the second half. Moore soon answered with her own 3-pointer to start a 7-0 run that put the Huskies ahead 47-39 with 6:15 remaining.

Asya Bussie made two free throws and Repella hit a jumper to bring West Virginia within 52-47 with 4 minutes left, but the Mountaineers got no closer.

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