Toppers Drop 120 On Road At Wise

Wheeling Jesuit holds off Concord

WISE, Va. — The unbeaten and No. 3-ranked West Liberty University men’s basketball team raced out to a 22-point halftime lead Thursday night and rolled to a 120-85 victory against UVa-Wise at the Prior Convocation Center.

Coach Ben Howlett’s Hilltoppers (14-0 overall, 9-0 Mountain East) scored 13 unanswered points in a two-minute burst midway through the first half and the host Cavaliers (6-9, 4-5) never got the margin under double-figures again.

Leading 17-16 with a little more than 12 minutes to go before halftime, Brandon Smith ignited the West Liberty run with a steal and quick pass to Tyler Primmer for an easy layup.

Evan French — who hit five 3-pointers in the first half — followed with back-to-back bonus bombs and Jordan Watson added another 3-pointer to make it 28-16 before Smith capped the 13-0 blitz with another steal and layup off the press.

That pushed WLU’s lead to 30-16 as the clock ticked past the 10-minute mark and the Hilltoppers kept right on rolling to take an insurmountable 56-34 lead into the locker room at the break.

West Liberty picked up where it had left off when play resumed, leading by as many as 38 points down the stretch.

James Griffin led seven double-figure scorers for the Hilltoppers with 21 points while French finished with 17 after his key first-half barrage from the arc.

Dalton Bolon knocked down 4 of 5 3-pointers to tally 16 points while grabbing a team-high eight rebounds. Dan Monteroso also had 16 points to go along with seven rebounds and five assists. Watson stuffed the stat sheet with 14 points, five rebounds and four assists while Primmer and Eric Meininger also reached double-figures with 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Craig Sheffey had a game-high 22 points in a losing cause for the hosts, who also got 20 points and 11 rebounds from Taiwo Badmus.

Wheeling Jesuit 69, Concord 67

ATHENS — In a tight battle, Wheeling Jesuit had enough down the stretch. A Pat Moseh spinning floater in the lane with 31 seconds gave Wheeling Jesuit a lead for good and held on at Concord.

Trailing by seven points both at intermission and midway through the second half, the No. 19 Cardinals (12-2, 8-1) worked into their first lead since late in the first half on a Moseh trey and ensuing free throw for the four-point play and 54-52 lead. With 42 seconds, a pair of Tommy Bolte foul shots gave the home team its final lead, before Moseh lane jumper. Bolte missed a layup and turned the ball over in the final 18 seconds with two WJU foul shots kept it ahead for a victory.

For the third-straight game in his return, Moseh led WJU in scoring. The senior hit 7 of 15 attempts for 18 points with 14 of them coming in the second half. He added six rebounds and four assists.

Jeremiah Wilson and Haywood Highsmith helped WJU outrebound the host, 46-41, with 31 defensive boards. Wilson dumped in 5 of 11 tries for 12 points to go with his 14 rebounds. Highsmith ran his double-double run to 13 games with 13 points on 5 of 8 shooting and 11 rebounds. The senior, like Moseh, put most of his production in the key second half with nine points and eight of his rebounds in the final 20 minutes.

Preston Boswell chipped in 14 points, including 5 of 6 from the foul line.

WOMEN

West Liberty 73, UVa-Wise 53

WISE, Va. — The West Liberty University women’s basketball team held UVa-Wise to 25 percent shooting from the floor in coasting to victory.

Coach Kyle Cooper’s Hilltoppers (6-9, 5-4) took command with a second quarter surge and the Cavaliers (2-12, 1-8) were unable to answer in dropping their sixth straight.

The hosts carried a 15-12 lead out of the first quarter and the lead swung back and forth several times during the early minutes of the second quarter before the Hilltoppers found the range.

A driving layup by UVa-Wise’s Dakotah Turner forged the final tie of the night, 23-23, at the 6:10 mark but a basket and a free throw from WLU’s Marissa Brown at the other end put West Liberty ahead to stay.

Jackie Kitts and Olivia Belknap came off the bench to help fuel what proved to be the decisive run for the visitors.

Kitts got a layup to go down and followed that up with a 3-pointer while Belknap put the finishing touches on the 19-2 burst with back-to-back 3-pointers for a 42-25 Hilltopper lead with 1:08 to go before halftime.

West Liberty led 44-29 at intermission and maintained a double-digit advantage throughout the second half.

Brown posted yet another double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds while freshman guard Audrey Tingle had a strong outing with 11 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals. McKenna Shives added 10 points along with three assists and three steals while Kitts and Belknap finished with nine and eight points, respectively — all in the first half.

Concord 71, Wheeling Jesuit 70

ATHENS — In a game of point swings, the final one did not swing for Wheeling Jesuit. After leading by a game-high nine points early in the fourth quarter, Wheeling Jesuit saw its final four shots fall off the mark and Concord completed the last point swing to squeak out a victory.

The Cardinals (6-9, 4-5) put together three runs of eight or more points and netted the final periods opening two buckets by Monica Burns and Mariah Callan to make it 63-54. The Mountain Lions (5-7, 3-6) answered with a 9-0 spurt for the lead, 68-67, with 1:53 left. Burns fourth trey with 1:29 turned out to be the final WJU points as a Concord layup 25 seconds later and one foul shot with under five seconds proved to be the difference.

Burns bested her 28-point day from Sunday with 29 points on 9 of 18 shooting and made all seven free throws to go with three steals.

Chenelle Moore was the lone other Cardinal double-digit scorer with 11 points on 5 of 11 shots.

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