Mountaineers survive their new notoriety

By wire services
Published November 13, 2005

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - No. 14 West Virginia isn't going to catch any opponents by surprise, and that showed in its first basketball game since last season's improbable run to the NCAA regional finals.

"Today, a couple people called our name. That was strange" said Mike Gansey, who led the Mountaineers (1-0) with 22 points and 14 rebounds in Saturday's 88-69 victory over Louisiana-Monroe to advance to the second round of the Guardians Classic.

Ranked in the preseason for the first time in 43 years, the Mountaineers had a second-half lapse as Louisiana-Monroe (0-1) cut a 17-point deficit to five. But West Virginia responded with three straight baskets, and Louisiana Monroe never got closer than eight the rest of the way. Kevin Pittsnogle, a hero of March's tournament run, scored 18.

Cecil Hood scored 26 for Louisiana-Monroe.

BOWLING GREEN 72, VIRGINIA TECH 71: Bowling Green's John Floyd put up an off-balance jumper with three seconds left, and in the scramble for the rebound Virginia Tech freshman A.D. Vassallo tipped it into Bowling Green's basket just before the buzzer.

Martin Samarco led Bowling Green (1-1) with 21 points.

Bowling Green led most of the way, but Tech used a 15-6 run to take the lead with 13 seconds left.

Coleman Collins had 22 for the Hokies, and Floyd had 17.

LOUISVILLE: Sophomore center David Padgett injured his left knee in an intrasquad scrimmage and could be out for six weeks. The 6-foot-11 center, who transferred from Kansas, was making his first public appearance on the court after recovering from a broken foot.

Women's basketball

NO. 9 CONNECTICUT 71, MARIST 45: Mel Thomas scored 23 points for the Huskies in the first round of the WNIT in Storrs, Conn. The sophomore guard hit four 3-pointers and had three steals.

NO. 17 VANDERBILT 86, CLEMSON 49: Nicole Jules was 8-for-8 from the field and scored 18 points in 22 minutes for Vanderbilt (1-1) in the third-place game of the WBCA/BTI Classic in Tempe, Ariz.

NO. 20 ARIZONA STATE 69, MISSOURI 54: Kristen Kovesdy had 16 points and eight rebounds to lead Arizona State the WBCA/BTI Classic title. LaToya Bond led Missouri with 23 points.

Other sports

SWIMMING: Florida State's swimming and diving teams kept their perfect records intact, defeating Clemson. The men are now 6-0; the women improved to 8-0.

Among the top performers was senior Carrie Ellis, of Valrico, who set the Clemson pool record in the women's 100 free with a time of 50.61 and was also part of the winning 400 medley relay team. Sophomore Alex Tilbrook of Largo won the men's one-meter dive.

VOLLEYBALL: The sixth-ranked University of Tampa volleyball team (25-3, 13-1) defeated Eckerd College (12-14, 3-9) three games to none to win the Sunshine State Conference championship.

CROSS COUNTRY: The University of Florida men's team finished third at the 2005 NCAA South Region meet in Gainesville. The women's team finished fifth.


WHO: USF (12-5-1, 9-2) at Connecticut (14-3-1, 7-3-1).

WHEN: Noon today.

SCOUTING REPORT: Both schools won their respective divisions in the regular season and meet for the first time. USF goalkeeper Dane Brenner, who sat out the semifinal Friday with an ankle injury, is expected to play. The Bulls are ranked 16th in Soccer America, which has UConn No. 6. The game will be broadcast on tape delay at 9 p.m. Monday on Bright House Ch. 47.

- GREG AUMAN, Times staff writer