MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- LaQuita Owens scored 21 points and Yinka Sanni added 16, leading West Virginia (No. 22 ESPN/USA Today, No. 18 AP) to a season-opening 76-49 win over Canisius on Friday night.
The Mountaineers, who return all five starters and were ranked in the preseason poll for the first time, quickly opened a 15-3 lead with 12 consecutive points over a five-minute span.The Griffins turned the ball over four times in their first 10 possessions, all on traveling violations, and never scored more than five consecutive points.West Virginia led 38-25 at halftime and by as many as 31 points in the second half.Meg Bulger, who missed last season with her second ACL tear in as many years, had 12 of her 15 points on 3-pointers for The Mountaineers.West Virginia forced 27 turnovers and had a 49-33 rebounding edge.Micayla Drysdale scored 13 points for Canisius, which opened against a ranked foe for the first time in its 33-year history and fell to 0-5 against ranked teams.The Mountaineers are ranked for the first time since they were No. 14 in 1992.