Women’s basketball programs from West Virginia University and Penn State met on the hardwood for the first time since 1991 Sunday afternoon in Happy Valley.
Sophomore guard JJ Quinerly got off to a hot start, finished with a game-high 16 points, and had her team in front after the first quarter of play. But freshman guard Shay Ciezki and the Nittany Lions (8-3) were in control from that point on.
Dawn Plitzuweit’s crew trailed by 11 points entering the fourth quarter. The Mountaineers, who made 50 percent of their shots in the third, went ice cold in the final period. WVU made just 1-of-12 shot attempts in the fourth quarter, with the lone make from the floor being a 3-pointer by Quinerly.
Quinerly was largely held in check after the opening period, and three Penn State players, including Ciezki, scored in double figures as PSU cruised to a 69-57 victory.
The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Mountaineers, while a victory for Penn State ended the Nittany Lions’ three-game losing skid.
WVU committed 15 turnovers and had seven shots blocked in the contest.
West Virginia led by one after the first quarter, thanks to a great start to the contest by Quinerly. The talented sophomore guard knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and scored eight points in the opening frame. She had 10 points to pace WVU in scoring entering halftime.
Penn State started the second quarter by scoring 14 of the first 17 points of the period. The Nittany Lions quickly went from trailing by one point to leading by 11 at the midway point in the quarter.
Penn State took an eight-point lead into the locker room at the intermission.
The third quarter had a similar flow to the second. Penn State scored nine of the opening 13 points, but West Virginia responded by scoring 12 of the next 15, as the two teams traded scoring bursts.
The Nittany Lions then scored 12 straight points over the ensuing 2:45 of game action that bridged the third and fourth quarters. Ciezki netted a pair of 3-pointers during that run, which built an insurmountable 16-point lead for Penn State.
Ciezki tallied 14 total points on the strength of four made 3-pointers in the game. Sophomore Leilani Kapinus scored a team-high 15 points, and grabbed six rebounds, for Penn State.
Despite WVU working to pull to within two possession in both the second and third quarters, the Mountaineers were unable to ever pull back in front, and trailed by at least 12 points for the entirety of the final period.
Madisen Smtih (12 points) and Jayla Hemingway (11) joined Quinerly in double figures for scoring.
The Mountaineers now have more than a week off from game action, and won’t play again until Tuesday, Dec. 20, when they host Georgia at 2:30 p.m. ET as part of the West Palm Beach Invitational.