AUSTIN, Texas -- West Virginia outmuscled Xavier and the Mountaineers are moving on.
West Virginia's Olayinka Sanni controlled the paint, scoring 20 points to lead the 11th-seeded Mountaineers to a 65-52 win Saturday night in the first round of the Fresno Regional. Sanni scored 17 in the second half and grabbed eight rebounds in her matchup with 6-foot-5 Amber Harris, who stands four inches taller than Sanni.Harris, the Atlantic 10 rookie of the year, had 19 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks for the sixth-seed Musketeers (26-8), but couldn't stop Sanni.Chakhia Cole scored 21 points for West Virginia (21-10).Defensively, West Virginia held Joei Clyburn, the Atlantic 10 tournament MVP, to four points, all on free throws. Clyburn, who transferred from WVU before the 2005-06 season, managed to get off only one shot the entire game.WVU was fourth in Big East and finished with its most regular season wins in 15 years but got off to a slow start, missing seven of its first eight shots.The Mountaineers took the lead midway through the first half on Cole's 3-pointer, then closed with a 17-4 run that made it 31-18 by halftime. With Clyburn struggling to get off a shot and Suntana Granderson mired in a 4-of-18 shooting night, Xavier was in a hole the Musketeers couldn't get out of.Sanni scored the Mountaineers' first eight points of the second half, muscling past Harris each time, as WVU built a 41-25 lead.Struggling to hold her ground under the basket, Harris ended up moving out to launch 3-pointers, where she shot just 29 percent on the season.Harris did hit two 3-pointers to help get Xavier within 56-45 with just over four minutes to play but Xavier went 7 of 27 from long range as a team and never threatened a rally. Granderson was 3 of 11.