WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The West Virginia University women’s basketball team secured its ninth victory of the season on Wednesday afternoon, after defeating Miami (Ohio), 82-51, in the 2022 West Palm Beach Invitational at Massimino Court at Keiser University in West Palm Beach.
Despite a constant barrage from the RedHawks, West Virginia led from start to finish in Wednesday’s contest. WVU tallied 20 or more points in two quarters, including 25 in the fourth to seal the win.
The Mountaineers saw five players contribute double-digit efforts to their scoring attack, including fifth-year senior guard Danni Nichols, who tallied a game-high 17 points. The Columbia, Missouri, native also tallied three rebounds and two assists in the game.
Nichols was joined in double figures by fifth-year senior guard Madisen Smith (13), redshirt sophomore guard Kyah Watson (13), senior forward Tavy Diggs (12) and sophomore guard JJ Quinerly (12).
Watson also paced WVU on the glass by tallying a team-best seven rebounds. Quinerly led the team in both assists and steals, with five each.
Defensively, West Virginia forced 17 Miami (Ohio) turnovers and tallied 10 steals. The Mountaineers cashed in 21 points off the RedHawks’ turnovers.
West Virginia began the game on a 10-run, all of which came from Quinerly. She also tallied four steals in the first five minutes of the game as part of Miami (Ohio)’s five turnovers. The RedHawks finally got on the board with a pair of free throws at the 3:39 mark of the first quarter.
Through the first six minutes of the game, the Mountaineer defense held the RedHawks to 0-of-12 from the field.
From there, WVU tacked on nine more points, including five from Nichols, before the end of the quarter. MOH would add three more free throws during that span as well. West Virginia led Miami (Ohio), 19-5, after the first period.
The Mountaineers tacked on two more scores to begin the second quarter increase their lead to 18. The RedHawks finally netted their first field goal at the frame’s 8:00 mark to snap their 0-of-14 streak. WVU led MOH, 23-7, at that point.
West Virginia then rattled off a 7-0 run to jump in front by 20 points. Miami (Ohio) then went on the counterattack, as it outscored WVU, 12-9, over the final five minutes of the first half to cut into the deficit.
Despite the RedHawks’ effort, the Mountaineers held a 39-22 lead at the halftime break.
The two teams traded scores to begin the second half, but WVU continued to lead by 16 over the first five minutes of the third quarter. A RedHawks 3-pointer made it a 48-35 game just before the media break.
Miami (Ohio) would continue to attack after the timeout and eventually cut West Virginia’s lead to single digits with 3:19 to play in the frame. WVU led MOH, 48-37, at that point.
The Mountaineers and RedHawks went back and forth for the remainder of the quarter, but West Virginia held a 57-44 lead heading into the final 10 minutes of the game.
After Smith netted five points to begin the fourth quarter, Miami fired right back with five of its own. However, four more Mountaineer tallied pushed its lead to 13 points, which forced the RedHawks to call a timeout with 6:27 to go in the game.
After the two teams traded scores following the break, West Virginia put its foot on the gas and didn’t look back for the final five minutes of the game. During that stretch, WVU ripped off a 14-0 run, which helped them jump out to a 31-point lead at the game’s conclusion, its largest of the contest.
West Virginia finished the game shooting 34-of-67 (50.7%) from the field and netted 48 points in the paint. The Mountaineers also assisted on 17 of their 34 makes. What’s more, six WVU players finished the game with multiple assists.
Next up, West Virginia returns to Morgantown after the holiday break on Saturday, Dec. 31, as the Mountaineers open Big 12 Conference play against Oklahoma. The New Year’s Eve contest against the Sooners is set for 2 p.m. ET, and will be broadcast on Big 12 Now.