1-ranked West Liberty University men's basketball team took control
early and was never threatened in coasting to a 105-85 win at West
Virginia State Monday night.
Coach Jim Crutchfield's Hilltoppers (18-1, 14-1) used a 15-2 blitz over a 2-minute span to take a 27-12 lead with 13:30 still showing on the first half clock and the Yellowjackets (7-12, 4-12) never got the margin into single digits again.
Liberty pushed the lead to 20 points, 36-16, at the 10-minute mark and
led by as many as 29 points before settling for a 61-34 bulge at
The lead reached 35 points, 89-54, on a Cedric Harris jumper with 10:19 remaining before the Hilltoppers – playing the first of three road games this week – shifted into cruise control.
Liberty shot better than 50 percent from the floor (42-of-78, 54
percent) and from the 3-point arc (14-of-25, 56 percent) while forcing
20 turnovers and dominating the backboards by a 41-31 margin. Nearly
half (18) of those 41 rebounds came on the offensive glass as the
Hilltoppers posted a whopping 26-4 edge in second-chance points.
Devin Hoehn drained 4 3-pointers in the game's first 5 minutes and
finished with a WLU season-high 7 bonus bombs – on 7-of-9 shooting – and
21 points. Harris led all scorers with 28 points while handing out 5
assists and collecting 3 steals.
Dyer came off the bench with 18 points, 5 rebounds and a game-high 6
assists. Keene Cockburn rounded out the double-figure scorers with 12
points to go along with a season-high 5 blocked shots.
Anton Hutchins scored 21 points to pace West Virginia State.
The Hilltoppers head even farther south on Thursday when they travel to Concord for a 7:30 p.m. game.
West Liberty's win, coupled with second-place Charleston's 88-80 loss
to Wheeling Jesuit, gives the Hilltoppers a 4-game lead in the MEC
standings with just 7 games left in the regular season
X WLU improved to 105-4 in league play since the end of the 2008-09 season
This was the 14th time West Liberty has scored 100 or more points this
year. The Hilltoppers have won 54 consecutive games when cracking the
X West Liberty sophomore Kelvin Goodwin (13.0 ppg.) missed his third straight game due to illness