Jesuit Men Keep Rolling
WHEELING – Obi Ukwuoma paced four double-figure scorers with 16 points as Wheeling Jesuit defeated Alderson-Broaddus, 72-65 on Saturday at the Alma Grace McDonough Center, in the first since coming off Wednesday victory against No. 1 West Liberty.
Steve Catich and Joe Prati each added 14 while Ben Siefert put up 12.
West Liberty 112, Davis & Elkins 81
WEST LIBERTY – The No. 1-ranked West Liberty University men’s basketball team celebrated Senior Day in style with a rout of Davis & Elkins in a mutual regular-season finale at the ASRC.
Coach Jim Crutchfield’s Hilltoppers (26-1, 21-1 WVC), who locked up their third straight WVIAC championship a couple of weeks ago, showed no hangover at all from Wednesday’s upset loss at Wheeling Jesuit.
”Once the ball goes up, the only thing that matters is the two teams on the floor,” Crutchfield said. ”We wanted to keep our focus totally on D&E and I thought our guys did that.”
The Senators (8-18, 4-18) kept things close for much of the first half before a late surge pushed West Liberty out to a 56-41 lead at intermission.
The Hilltoppers slammed the gas pedal to the floorboards in the second half, leading by as many as 36 points down the stretch before coasting into the post-season.
”Davis & Elkins definitely got our attention last week when they beat (regionally ranked) West Virginia Wesleyan,” Crutchfield said, ”but we executed our game plan pretty well. They don’t go very deep on their bench so we wanted to press the tempo throughout and try to wear them down. I thought we got some terrific contributions from our bench and that really helped break it open.”
C.J. Hester led six double-figure scorers for West Liberty with 23 points while Keene Cockburn, starting in place of the injured Chris Morrow, notched the first double-double of his career with 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
Shawn Dyer added 13 points off the bench while Nick Brown came off the bench with a dozen points and six boards. Senior Mike Lopez weighed in with 11 points and 5 assists while Cedric Harris rounded out the double-figure scorers with 10 points. Jordan Fee tied a career-high with 8 points and dished out a game-high six assists.
With a bye through Tuesday’s first round of the WVIAC Tournament, West Liberty won’t play again until taking the court in Charleston for a Thursday quarterfinal.
Davis & Elkins 61, West Liberty 55
WEST LIBERTY – The West Liberty University women’s basketball team dropped its final game of the regular season.
The Hilltoppers (14-14, 11-11 WVC) and Senators (13-13, 12-10) traded leads for most of the second half but the Black and Gold went cold down the stretch, allowing Davis & Elkins to escape with a victory that guaranteed the visitors a home game in Monday’s first round of the WVIAC Tournament.
West Liberty coach Lynn Ullom was not happy that his Hilltoppers will be making their first WVIAC Tournament road trip in his lengthy tenure.
”I’m very disappointed,” the veteran coach said, ”but we have nobody to blame but ourselves. The same things that have haunted us all season continued to be a problem for us. As a program, we simply haven’t improved in the areas we need to improve in.”
In a second half that featured four ties and eight lead changes, West Liberty appeared to have opened up a little breathing room when Bri Kamarec fed Erica Hershberger for a layup and a 51-47 lead at the 6:16 mark.
It was the largest lead of the second half for either team at that point but it proved to be the beginning of the end for the Hilltoppers as D&E held the hosts without a field goal the rest of the way.
A pair of Emily Blevins free throws pulled West Liberty even for the final time, 55-55, with 3:43 to play but the Hilltoppers never scored again.
Kamarec came off the bench with 14 points to share team scoring honors with Kayla Ayers. Hillary Southworth added a dozen points and a game-high seven rebounds in a losing cause.
With the loss, the West Liberty women slipped to 9th place in the final WVIAC standings and will hit the road Monday night for a first-round game at 8th place Seton Hill.
”Obviously it’s a short turnaround,” Ullom said, ”but we know what we need to work on in practice (today). The key will be whether we’ll be able to get that accomplished.”
Wheeling Jesuit 65
WHEELING – Lucy DeFruscio scored 19 points as Wheeling Jesuit defeated Alderson-Broaddus. Cassy Sanderson and Kelsey Pacholke added 14 points apiece for the Cardinals.
OUE 61, OU Lancaster 58
MIDDLETOWN, Ohio – Ohio University Eastern got off to a rocky start in Saturday’s semifinal contest versus league rival OU Lancaster, shootinh poorly (37 percent) and committinh 15 turnovers in the first 20 minutes as the Cougars raced into the locker room with a 34-21 halftime advantage.
”I told the team at halftime that we were very fortunate to only be down 13 points with the way that we played, but that we were going to have to play with a sense of urgency in the second half to turn this ship around,” OUE coach E. J. Schodzinski said.
The Panthers began to whittle away at the lead slowly but surely and each time they scored, their full-court pressure began to change the momentum of the game.
OUE forced 12 second half OUL turnovers. The Panthers were finally able to take the lead at 57-56 on two free throws from senior Savannah Burke with 1:20 remaining in the game.
Allie Doan and Alexa Isaly sealed the game at the line down the stretch as OUE advanced to today’s championship game against Miami Middletown.
OUE, looking for a second straight title, was led by Doan and Kelsey Holloway with 14 points. Isaly added 10.
West Liberty’s Shaw Claims
PEMBROKE, N.C. – West Liberty University senior Jarrod Shaw won the 157-pound championship Saturday afternoon as the NCAA Division II Super Region One wrestling tournament concluded its two-day run at the English E. Jones Center on the campus of UNC-Pembroke.
As a regional champion, Shaw will lead a three-man contingent of Hilltoppers grapplers to the 2012 NCAA Division II National Wrestling Championships, which will be held March 9-10 in Pueblo, Colo.
Fellow senior J.D. Ramsey punched his third NCAA national qualifying ticket with a third-place finish at 285 pounds while junior Matt Littleton finished fifth at 174 pounds but earned a trip to Pueblo with an impressive victory against a higher-seeded wrestler in a True Fourth Place match.
The top four finishers in all 10 weight classes at the regional level are awarded spots in the national championship meet.
Shaw, a Brooke High graduate, had one of the day’s most entertaining matches in the 157-pound final. The bout between the No. 4-seeded Hilltopper and No. 6-seed Braden Turner of East Stroudsburg went into overtime before Shaw emerged with a 6-4 decision in the sudden-victory segment.