7:00 PM ET, January 31, 2006
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- LaQuita Owens scored a career-high 20 points Tuesday night as West Virginia beat DePaul (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today, No. 13 AP) 82-70.Owens scored 12 in the first half on four 3-pointers, leading the Mountaineers (12-6, 4-3 Big East) to their first victory over a ranked opponent since beating No. 23 Villanova 58-47 in the 2004 Big East tournament.West Virginia never trailed, going up 8-0 after Britney Davis-White's free-throw at the 16:43 mark in the first half.Khara Smith, the leading scorer and rebounder for DePaul (18-4, 5-4), was held to two field goals and two rebounds before halftime, but still finished with 20 points.West Virginia led 42-26 with less than a minute left in the first half on a jumper by Chakia Cole, one of five Mountaineers in double figures.DePaul trimmed West Virginia's lead to 56-51 with 12:17 remaining on a 3-pointer by Rachel Carney, which capped the Blue Demons' 12-3 run.The Mountaineers immediately responded with a 16-4 run of their own. Owens capped the run and gave West Virginia its biggest lead, 72-55, with her sixth 3 with 5:02 remaining.Cole had 17 points while hitting nine free throws, and Olayinka Sanni added 13 for West Virginia. The Mountaineers shot more than 54 percent from the field despite playing without leading scorer Meg Bulger, who watched the game from the sideline after injuring her knee Sunday in a loss to St. John's.Smith, Allie Quigley, and Jenna Rubino, the top scoring trio in the Big East, combined for 46 points for DePaul.West Virginia improved to 6-0 this season when it scores more than 80.