MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — West Virginia women’s basketball won its second game on Wednesday 70-48 over Winthrop in front of thousands of spirited students at the WVU Coliseum.
The Mountaineers hosted this season’s Education Day as they welcomed schools from the area to come and support the team and give it a unique home-court advantage. They got the edge they needed as Jayla Hemingway and Madisen Smith combined for 27 points to lead WVU over the Eagles.
WVU got off to a rocky start as Winthrop kept the first quarter margin within two possessions. The Mountaineers struggled with ball security, giving up nine turnovers in the first half.
Hemingway was a bright spot for the home squad, though, taking a game-high seven points into the locker room after two quarters. She finished the game with 12.
Winthrop’s lack of depth caught up to the Eagles as the game went on. The Eagles played just six players, including their five starters, while WVU went seven-deep into its bench.
Paige Powell was the leader for Winthrop, recording 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Smith took off for WVU in the second half, dropping 13 of her game-high 15 points. She now ties JJ Quinerly as the team’s leading scorer at 13 points per game.
Smith led a big improvement on the offensive end for WVU, characterized by better care of the basketball as the Mountaineers gave away just two turnovers in the second half.
Despite WVU’s advantage in depth, the Mountaineers were unable to solidify dominance on the glass, finishing even with Winthrop at 32 rebounds apiece.
A reported 6,640 fans were in attendance for the non-conference clash, most of whom were students from area schools.
WVU returns to the court on Sunday for a 1 p.m. ET clash with Appalachian State at the WVU Coliseum.