No. 5 Hilltoppers Win 20th
WEST LIBERTY — The No. 5-ranked West Liberty University men’s basketball team pulled away down the stretch Saturday, clinching its 14th straight 20-win season with a 105-92 victory against Concord before a full house at the ASRC.
Coach Ben Howlett’s Hilltoppers (20-1, 15-1 Mountain East) survived an early barrage from the Mountain Lions (11-11, 7-9) before closing the game on a 19-7 spurt to lock up their 45th consecutive home win.
West Liberty struggled to find the range early, shooting just 40 percent from the floor in the first half as Concord took a 46-45 lead into the locker room. The Hilltoppers found the range after intermission but the scrappy Mountain Lions hung tough as the teams battled through 10 ties and 18 lead changes.
The Hilltoppers took the lead for good, 74-73, on a pair of Luke Dyer free throws with 9:39 remaining but struggled to get separation from the visitors for the next few minutes.
With WLU clinging to an 86-85 lead as the clock ticked down to the 5-minute mark, All-American Dan Monteroso stepped into the spotlight.
The senior southpaw splashed home his only 3-point shot of the night and then found Jordan Watson for another bonus bomb. Concord’s Tommy Bolte hit a free throw but Monteroso streaked back downcourt and hit Dalton Bolon for a dagger of a 3-pointer as the clock hit four minutes.
That put West Liberty on top, 95-86, and the Mountain Lions never threatened again.
Monteroso finished with 15 points while adding 13 rebounds and 6 assists – both game-highs.
Bolon finished with six 3-pointers and a team-high 25 points while Eric Meininger added 18 points.
U.Va.-Wise 81, Wheeling Jesuit 78
WHEELING — The Cavaliers proved to be a thorn in the side of the Cardinals again. UVa-Wise made up a 12-point deficit in the final 11 minutes and clipped the Wheeling Jesuit in the final minute.
A Cavaliers (9-13, 7-9) layup to put them ahead by a point, only to see the Cardinals (17-5,12-4) retake the advantage on a Preston Boswell left-wing 3-pointer, 78-76, at 1:03 remaining. After two ensuing possessions, Chance Sheffey downed what would be the game-winning trey with less than nine seconds left. WJU raced up the court, but turned the ball over. The visitors made a pair of free throws, before Boswell’s long game-tying 3-pointer hit off the rim to end the contest.
Haywood Highsmith recorded his fourth 30-point outing in a row with 30 points on 13 of 20 shooting. He added 13 rebounds and a pair of blocks.
Boswell finished with 20 points, including 4 of 9 from 3-point land.
Bethany 80, Thiel 77, OT
BETHANY — Senior center Liam Davis recorded a double-double with a career-high 26 points and 12 rebounds to lead Bethany past Thiel in overtime. Senior guard Calique Jones finished with 19 points.
West Liberty 100, Concord 89
WEST LIBERTY — Junior post Marissa Brown poured in a career-high 37 points and freshman point guard Audrey Tingle dished out 15 assists as the West Liberty women raced past Concord for their fourth straight win.
Coach Kyle Cooper’s Hilltoppers (11-11, 10-6) used a 15-0 spurt to break up a close game midway through the contest and never trailed in the second half in avenging an earlier loss to the Mountain Lions (11-10, 7-9).
Brown added eight rebounds and three blocks while Tingle checked off a lot of boxes with eight points, seven rebounds and four steals to go along with her 15 assists.
U.Va. Wise 66, Wheeling Jesuit 64
WHEELING — After a missed layup, The Virginia’s College at Wise’s Cynita Webb offensive putback beat the buzzer to beat Wheeling Jesuit.
Trailing 64-61, the Cardinals (10-12, 8-8) Monica Burns downed a top-of-the key 3-pointer to tied the game at 64 with 13 seconds left. The Cavaliers (4-17, 3-13) saw Quick Gomez drive the right side of the lane, but missed the shot only to have Webb beat the clock.
Burns topped all scorers with 24 points on 8 of 15 shooting, including 5 of 7 3-pointers, and four assists. After a 15-point and nine-rebound first half, Chenelle Moore finished with 16 points, 12 boards and four assists.
Bethany 74, Thiel 57
BETHANY — Led by a 28-point, 16-rebound performance from senior forward Kelsea Daugherty, Bethany bested Thiel.
Daugherty, who had 12 points and 12 rebounds at the half, matched her season-high with 16 rebounds and scored 10 of her game-high 28 in the fourth quarter to register her 10th double-double of the season. Junior guard Ashley Duthie chipped in 15 points.