WLU Women Get Win Over Wesleyan

Photo provided by WLU Athletics West Liberty’s Emily Bucon drives to the bucket during Thursday night’s game.

WEST LIBERTY — Lynn Ullom’s plan centered around his centers Thursday night at the ASRC against West Virginia Wesleyan. Marissa Brown and Allie Farina rewarded their coach’s faith.

The West Liberty (8-17 overall, 7-12 Mountain East) post players combined for 33 points on 14 of 16 shooting and added 12 rebounds in a 85-71 victory against the Bobcats (6-16, 6-13) to complete a season sweep. It leaves the Hilltoppers one loss by Concord from qualifying for next month’s MEC Tournament in Charleston.

“I’ve never not gone in 26 years,” Ullom said of the conference tournament. “I would devastated, shattered or whatever term you want to use if we somehow didn’t make it down there.

“Charleston has been such a special part of our program.

“Some of the greatest moments I have ever experienced as a person have been in that civic center.”

West Liberty put this one away early, vaulting to a 19-4 lead on the strength of 3-pointers from Brandi Beader, Johnie Olkosky, McKenna Shives and two from Emily Bucon. The Toppers shot 78 percent from the field and 75 from beyond the arc on their way to a 28-15 lead after the first quarter. The lead eventually went to 46-31 at halftime.

“We got out of the gate pretty quickly, made some shots early and made them play uphill,” Ullom said. “With their injuries I don’t know if they are built to play uphill against us.

“The lesson to be learned is, if we can hold onto the ball we can score. It’s hanging onto the ball that has been the problem from Day 1 with this group and we had 21 more turnovers.”

Those miscues were offset by West Liberty shooting 55 percent from the field. Shives led the way with 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

The Hilltoppers busted the game wide open with a 12-0, third quarter run that took the margin out to 23. Shives and Beader (five points total) connected for 3s during the spurt while Brown notched four.

“We were 10-for-22 from 3 so we shot it effectively from inside,” Ullom said. “When we have been able to win games or play with people, we get little bit of both.

“We have lost games and hit 16 3s because we got nothing inside. We’ve lost a couple games when we’ve got a ton of points inside and can’t make a 3.

“It doesn’t even have to be off-the-chart good on both of them. But if we can have some sort of balance we can stay in games.”

The lead grew to as much as 25 on Shives’ fifth and final 3-pointer. Brown finished with 18 while Farina notched 15 points and eight rebounds. Bucon added 13 points and Beader contributed 12.

The Bobcats’ Tara Goldman tied for game-high honors with 20 points. Destinee Tunstall scored 13 and Stacy Remer 12.

Glenville State 88, Wheeling Jesuit 75

GLENVILLE — In Thursday’s battle for possession of first place in the Mountain East Conference, the hosting Pioneers of Glenville State would outlast the Wheeling Jesuit Cardinals, 88-75.

Glenville State (21-4, 15-4) outscored Wheeling Jesuit (20-5, 15-4 MEC) 28-19 in the third quarter before winning the fourth quarter, 24-19, clinching a share of first place in the MEC.

Monica Burns, a sophomore from New Stanton, Pa. tied the MEC record for free-throw percentage (100%) in a single game, finishing 14 of 14 from the line. Burns now sits atop the tied record with her 14 successful attempts, as Brianna Vaden of Shepherd previously held the mark with a 12-12 game in 2014.

The Cardinals won the first quarter by seven points, 22-15, and led by as many as 11 points late in the second quarter. Glenville State closed the halftime margin to a single point, and would outscore WJU by 14 over the last 20 minutes of play.

Burns charted the Cardinals first 30-point effort of the season, finishing with 31 points and six rebounds. Jaana Motton added 19 points and seven rebounds while Chenelle Moore scored 15 points on 6-9 shooting.

Kylie Frizell scored six points while Chelsea Richardson and Lydia Hyburg each added two.

WJU returns to the road for a Saturday contest at West Virginia Wesleyan. Tip is scheduled for 2 p.m.