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Nov. 15, 1998

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) – Monick Foote and Tiffany Bower were healthy andthat spelled trouble for West Virginia.

Foote and Bower, two of Virginia’s best playmakers who missed last year withinjuries, each hit 3-pointers down the stretch to lead No. 8 Virginia past WestVirginia 85-72 in a season opener Sunday.

Foote and Bower, who averaged a combined 21.1 points a game in the 1996-97season, were expected to help lead an otherwise young team last season.

But Foote decided to redshirt to allow a chronic ankle problem and stressfracture in her right leg to heal, and Bower tore the Achilles’ tendon in herleft foot on the third day of practice and sat out the entire season.

Virginia got both seniors back on Sunday and Foote led the way with 20points.

“Monick is not only a court leader, but a spiritual leader for us,” saidVirginia coach Debbie Ryan. “She really came off strong tonight. She was thereason we were able to get right into that offense against their 1-3-1.

“She directed the rest of the team, and that leadership is so important,”Ryan said.

West Virginia had closed to 66-60 with 8:01 left when Virginia put the gameaway with a 10-4 run on two baskets by Lisa Hosac and 3-pointers by Foote andBower.

“When you’re down six, and you have the ball, you have to make betterdecisions,” said West Virginia coach Alexis Basil. “That’s going to come withexperience and playing more and getting some continuity with our offense.”

Virginia, one of four Atlantic Coast Conference teams ranked in the women’sTop 25 poll, never trailed. DeMya Walker hit two baskets as the Cavaliersopened the game with a 10-1 run.

West Virginia’s half-court press forced 24 turnovers, and its free throwshooting made up for some cold shooting from the floor and kept the game frombecoming a rout.

West Virginia, which hit 15 of 18 free throws in the first half, sank sixfree throws in a 13-8 run in the final 5:59 to pull to 42-35 at halftime.

But Svetlana Volnaya hit a 3-pointer to start the second half and theCavaliers twice pushed the lead back to 12.

Volnaya and reserve Lesley Brown added 16 points for Virginia. Walker added12.

Rebecca Burbridge led West Virginia with 29. Mandy Ronay had 12.

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