CHARLESTON - The West Liberty University women's basketball team led most of the way Wednesday night but couldn't hold off a late Concord rally as the Mountain Lions upset the No. 2-seeded Hilltoppers, 65-61, in the quarterfinals of the West Virginia Conference Tournament.
Playing without injured starting center Meghan Wiseman, West Liberty (24-6) led by as many as 10 points in the first half and held several nine-point leads after intermission but Concord (17-11) kept chipping away.
''Meghan was hurt Saturday and we just got the diagnosis (Wednesday) of a torn ACL,'' West Liberty coach Lynn Ullom said. ''I feel terrible for Meghan to have as a good a season as she was having and to have it end like that is just awful.
''Having said that, injuries are part of athletics and you have to find a way to get things done when you run into adversity. We didn't find a way.''
The Mountain Lions used an 11-2 run to take their first lead, 56-54, when Jolysa Brown was fouled on a putback and cashed in the free throw for a 3-point play at the 3:34 mark.
Concord never relinquished the lead as West Liberty missed several shots down the stretch and the Mountain Lions were able to put the game away at the free-throw line.
Jenni Robbins led all scorers for West Liberty with 21 points while Tori Hansen added 19 and Emily Blevins finished with 10. Jordan Stacey collected 8 points to go along with a game-high 13 rebounds and a game-high five assists for the Hilltoppers, who made just 7 of 28 shots from behind the 3-point arc.
Brown had a double-double for Concord with 18 points and 11 rebounds while Sidney Lindsey added 18 points and seven boards.
''I take full responsibility for this loss,'' Ullom said. ''We did some things down the stretch that well-coached teams just don't do. Our shot selection was not very good at the end and we did a terrible job of finishing off defensive possessions, blocking out and getting rebounds.
''I'm not saying we didn't play hard, because I think we did - but Concord played harder.''
The Hilltoppers return home to await Sunday night's announcement of the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region pairings. West Liberty was No. 2 in this week's Atlantic Region rankings with the top 8 teams earning post-season invitations.