Mountaineers need double OT to reach final

By wire services
Published March 29, 2005

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Meg Bulger had 31 points and 11 rebounds and West Virginia extended its longest postseason run ever, holding off Kentucky 80-75 in double overtime in the semifinals of the Women's NIT on Monday night.

West Virginia was scoreless for more than 111/2 minutes in the second half and squandered a 20-point lead before rallying and outscoring Kentucky 14-9 in the second overtime.

Sarah Elliott finished with 14 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots for the Wildcats, who matched their season high with 23 turnovers.

West Virginia made 11 of 23 3-pointers. Sherrel Sowho led the way, going 5-for-7 and scoring 21. Bulger shot 4-for-9 from 3-point range.

Kentucky hit just 3 of 17 shots from beyond the arc, including 2-of-10 by Sara Potts.

Bulger had eight points in the second overtime and went 4-of-4 from the free-throw line in the final 26.8 seconds.

The Mountaineers will play Southwest Missouri State for the title Thursday.

West Virginia led 49-29 with 16:43 left but didn't score again until 5:09 remained.

Kentucky took its first lead at 53-52 with 2:27 left.

West Virginia regained the lead before Potts made a 6-footer with 7.8 seconds left to tie the score.

The teams traded the lead in the first overtime.

West Virginia went just 4-of-8 from the line. Potts made two free throws with 15.9 seconds left to tie the score at 66, and Yolanda Paige missed at the buzzer for West Virginia.

SW MISSOURI ST. 89, IOWA 80: Jenni Lingor scored 32 to lead the host Bears into the title game.

K.C. Cowgill finished with 21 points and Sarah Klaassen added 12 for Southwest Missouri State. Kari Koch finished with 12 assists.

Jamie Cavey had 20 points and 13 rebounds for Iowa.

Southwest Missouri State shot 17-for-25 from 3-point range and converted all 12 of its free throws. It made 11-of-15 from beyond the arc in the first half on the way to a 51-40 lead at the break.

Iowa opened the second half with a 19-6 run and took a 59-56 lead with 14:12 left, but Southwest Missouri State countered with a 16-7 run and never trailed again.