MORGANTOWN, W. Va. In its first matchup with an AP Top 10 opponent since the 2010-11 season, Morehead State women's basketball (9-4) ended non-conference play with a 66-56 loss to No. 9 West Virginia (12-0) on Thursday night at WVU Coliseum.
The loss snaps a seven-game win streak for the Eagles.
"I was very proud of how hard we competed on the road against the No. 9 team in the nation," said head coach Greg Todd. "Our half-court defense and rebounding were excellent all night."
Morehead State never led, but kept in reach of the Mountaineers throughout the entire contest. Redshirt junior Darianne Seward scored the first 8 points for the visiting Eagles, overcoming the team's 6-of-17 (.353) shooting in the opening period. Despite WVU connecting on 8-of-14 (.571) from the field, Morehead State ended the first quarter down just 18-14.
West Virginia outscored the Eagles 24-19 in the second, but were held without a basket over the final 2:49 of the half. Morehead State trailed 42-33 at the break.
After being outscored 16-11 in the third, Morehead State entered the fourth quarter down 58-44. The Eagles defense came alive in the final stanza, forcing 8 turnovers and relinquishing only 3. West Virginia hit its only fourth-quarter field goal in the opening minute, then was held 0-for-9 over the last 9:22 of the game. Morehead State bested the reigning Big 12 Tournament champion 12-8 in the period.
Seward finished with 23 points and 5 rebounds, tying a career-high 6 steals. Eriel McKee ended her night with 11 points and 4 boards, while Tierra McGowan logged 8 points, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 1 steal. Morehead State outrebounded West Virginia 41-36 as a team.
Morehead State opens Ohio Valley Conference play next Thursday, Dec. 28 in Cookeville, Tenn. The Eagles will tip off with Tennessee Tech (3-8) at 6:30 p.m. ET.