WEST LIBERTY - It wasn't very pretty and it didn't earn much praise from veteran coach Lynn Ullom, but West Liberty's women's basketball team managed to earn its 10th consecutive victory Thursday night be beating Mountain East Conference cellar dweller West Virginia Wesleyan.
Sophomore Liz Flowers gunned in a game-high 26 points to pace four double-figure scorers and the Hilltoppers overcame an early six-point deficit with a game-changing, 24-2 run midway through the first half to pull away for a 75-57 victory against the Bobcats at the ASRC.
The victory moves Ullom's squad to 18-8 overall and 15-5 in MEC play, where the Hilltoppers are currently second heading into their final two games against conference-leading Glenville State and arch-rival Wheeling Jesuit.
Meanwhile, Wesleyan remained winless in conference action in 19 tries and is 2-21 overall.
"A win is a win," Ullom said with a shrug. "In the end we played well enough in about a combined 10 minutes throughout the game to beat a 2-21 team. I am very disappointed with the overall concentration level.
"We took a lot of shortcuts and those are the things that got us into trouble early in the season."
After spotting the Bobcats a 2-0 lead West Liberty got back-to-back 3s from Jasmin Kiley and Flowers for a 6-2 advantage. However, a 10-0 Wesleyan spurt put the visitors in front by a 12-6 with 16:03 showing.
That was when the Hilltoppers caught fire and imposed their will for a 10-minute span that turned into a 24-2 run and featured six 3-point baskets, two each from Flowers, Kailee Howe and Bri Kamarec, that made it a 30-14 count late in the half.
West Liberty eventually went to the locker room with a 44-27 edge at the half.
Things remained at the same pace until the midway point of the second half when another rally, this one a 21-6 burst, made it a 25-point lead. It got all the way to 73-45 before the Bobcats closed on a 12-2 run.
Flowers scored the Hilltoppers' final two points with a pair of free throws at the 3:37 mark before fouling out 33 seconds later. Howe finished with 15 points, Kiley added 13 and Kamarec 10. Kierra Simpson did not score, but pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds.
Kacey Johnson paced Wesleyan with 16 points while Brittany Williams had a game-high 13 rebounds.
"We have been streaky the entire year, playing in spurts is just what we do," Ullom added. "But we don't want to get right back in the traps where we had some really, really bad spurts. We turned the ball over 21 times to a team that might have picked us up at half court maybe three times the entire game.
"I know this is still a young team with four sophomores and a junior starting, but the excuses are over. It is getting to be tournament time and I want this team to be hungry every single game."