WEST VIRGINIA 66, TEMPLE 58
Morgantown, WV – Cue Country Roads. The West Virginia women’s basketball team wins in OT, again, this time in the WNIT semifinals. The Mountaineers defeated Temple 66-58 in front of a home crowd of just over 3,000 fans to advance to the championship.
WVU fans will get to see one more game as the Mountaineers will host UCLA in the championship on Saturday, April 4 at 3 p.m. ET. The game will be played 2.5 hours south at Charleston Civic Center and will be nationally televised live on CBS Sports Network.
WVU had monster games from Bria Holmes (22 points) and Averee Fields (20 points) accounting for 42 of the team’s 66 points. Lanay Montgomery finished with a game-high 24 rebounds, just two shy of tying the WNIT single-game record. Montgomery also managed eight blocks in the win.
Tyonna Williams led the Owls with 15 points and Tanaya Atkinson finished with 10. Temple hit nine three-pointers on the night and held West Virginia to only one.
Both teams struggled at times from the field with WVU finishing 22-of-64 and TU only hitting 21-of-71.
Temple held a five-point lead at halftime (31-26) and came out hot early in the second half to go up 38-30 with 15:36 on the clock. However, West Virginia went on a 6-0 run triggered by a Holmes made jumper and free throws from Bre McDonald and Fields.
The Mountaineers trailed 53-51 with 12 seconds on the clock, before Crystal Leary stole the ball and dished it to Holmes who was fouled. Holmes hit both free throws to tie the game. In OT, it was all Mountaineers who took a quick lead and never looked back.
UCLA 69, MICHIGAN 65
Ann Arbor, MI – The UCLA women’s basketball team goes into Ann Arbor and knocks off the Michigan Wolverines 69-65 to advance to the WNIT championship game.
Three Bruin players scored in double figures including a team-high 19 points from Kari Korver. Korver hit five three-pointers and was 7-of-9 from the field. Jordin Canada added 16 points and dished out nine assists; Nirra Fields chipped in 13 points and pulled down five boards. UCLA improves to 18-18 on the season.
Michigan’s Shannon Smith scored a game-high 20 points; Nicole Elmblad chipped in 16 points; Katelynn Flaherty and Cyesha Goree finished with 14 and 11 points respectively. The Wolverines conclude the season with a 20-15 record.
Both teams carried leads throughout and the game included multiple lead changes. UCLA held a slight advantage at halftime, 32-31. The game was tied at 63s with 1:39 on the clock, before UCLA’s Fields hit a jumper to give the Bruins a two-point lead. Canada then sealed the win for UCLA hitting 4-of-4 from the free-throw line in the final 21 seconds.
UCLA will travel to West Virginia to face the Mountaineers in the WNIT championship game. Tip is slated for 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 4. The game will be nationally televised live on CBS Sports Network.