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WACO, Texas (AP) -- Liz Repella scored 26 points and Madina Ali added 13 points and 15 rebounds to lead West Virginia to a 79-73 victory over Houston in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Sunday.
The Mountaineers (24-9) took control with a 16-1 run during the first half, all while Cougars star Courtney Taylor was on the bench with two fouls. Taylor played the entire second half, but Houston (26-6) never got closer than three points with 3:26 left.
West Virginia was ranked No. 6 earlier this season, but entered the tournament seeded ninth, in a 3-6 rut. The senior-filled club advanced to the second round for the second straight year and the fourth time in as many tries (2007, '08 and '10).
The Mountaineers will play either top-seeded Baylor or 16th-seeded Prairie View A&M on Tuesday night.
Brittney Scott scored 24 points to lead the eighth-seeded Cougars, who were in the tournament for the first time since 2005.