College Park, MD -- It has been said that basketball is a game of runs, and in the case of Friday’s matchup between the sixth-seed West Virginia Mountaineers and the 11-seed Elon Phoenix, one run in particular ultimately determined who got to move on to the NCAA Tournament’s round of 32.
After a tight battle through the first half, the Mountaineers (24-10) made a key 10-0 run in the middle of the fourth quarter to put away the Phoenix 75-62 and advance to play a second game in the Bridgeport region.
At the half, West Virginia clung to a 28-27 lead behind 12 points from Tynice Martin. Martin, who leads the Mountaineers with 18.6 points per game, finished with a game-high 26 points including three triples.
She was joined in scoring double figures by teammates Lanay Montgomery (13 points on 6-of-9 shooting, 10 rebounds) and Katrina Pardee (14 points).
The Mountaineers made eight threes in the contest, two of which came during that late-game run.
West Virginia also out-rebounded Elon 38-29, but otherwise, the teams were pretty evenly matched, statistically; the Phoenix had 30 points in the paint compared to West Virginia’s 26, and neither team got overly significant contributions from its bench, with Elon’s seconders contributing eight and the Mountaineers’ seven.
Juniors Malaya Johnson and Shay Burnett, as well as senior Lauren Brown, led the offensive charge for the Phoenix. Burnett had a team-high 19 points.
With the win, the Mountaineers move on to face three-seed Maryland in the second round Sunday.