West Virginia climbs past Syracuse
Ali scores a career-high 32 points
The Associated Press
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Madina Ali scored a career-high 32 points and No. 6 West Virginia bounced back from its first loss of the season with a 70-61 win against No. 25 Syracuse on Saturday.
West Virginia (17-1, 4-1 Big East Conference) improved its school-record home winning streak to 29 games and moved to 3-0 against ranked teams this season.
Liz Repella added 12 points for the Mountaineers. Ali also had 10 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season and the ninth of her career.
Elashier Hall scored 20 points for Syracuse (13-4, 1-3), which was playing only its second road game of the season. Leading scorer Kayla Alexander was held to four points, 10 below her average.
West Virginia, coming off a 69-54 loss at Marquette on Tuesday, used an 8-0 run in the final two minutes to put the Orange away.
Neither team shot well. Although Ali made 10 of 19 shots, West Virginia went 23 of 56 (41 percent) from the floor, while Syracuse shot 20 of 51 (39 percent).
West Virginia was outrebounded 23-11 in the second half and 39-36 for the game.
The Mountaineers went ahead to stay, 48-47, on two Repella free throws midway through the second half.
Syracuse kept pace until the end against the nation's top scoring defense. Erica Morrow's jumper brought Syracuse to 56-54 with 5:40 left, but the Orange didn't get another basket until the closing seconds.
Brooke Hampton and Ali each sank 3-pointers after that, with Ali making her first of the season. Ali then started the decisive run with an inside basket after a Repella miss with 1:51 left that put the Mountaineers ahead 64-59.
Morrow and Iasia Hemingway had 12 points apiece for Syracuse.