West Liberty Women Rout Rams, 96-72

Brown unstoppable once again for Toppers

WLU Photo West Liberty’s Marissa Brown goes up for a shot during Wednesday’s game against Shepherd, while teammate Audrey Tingle (5) looks on.

WEST LIBERTY — The West Liberty women’s basketball team shot out of the gates quickly then closed the first quarter on a 17-2 run and was never threatened in a 96-72 rout of Shepherd on Wednesday night inside the ASRC. It proved a nice rebound for the Hilltoppers (6-4 overall, 3-2 Mountain East Conference) who suffered a disappointing defeat last weekend at the hands of Notre Dame.

”We came out of the locker room playing like we were possessed,” WLU coach Kyle Cooper said. ”We played with tremendous pace.

”That’s a major key for us because that’s how we practice and that’s who we are. When we can play with that pace while controlling the basketball, we can be very good.”

That the Hilltoppers were Wednesday night.

Just like everyone else, the Rams (3-5, 1-4) didn’t have an answer for West Liberty senior post Marissa Brown. She tallied a team-high 30 points to go with game-highs of 15 rebounds and five blocked shots, leading the way for five players in double figures.

Senior guard Johnie Olkosky took over the NCAA Division II lead in assist/turnover ratio. Olkosky had six assists and zero turnovers on the night, giving her 31 assists against three turnovers for the season — a 10.33 assist/turnover ratio.

“Johnie understands the game so well and does so many things for this team that don’t show up in the box score,” Cooper said. “I’m glad to see her finally getting some of the recognition she deserves.”

Leading 28-10 after a quarter, West Liberty opened the second on a 3-pointer from Audrey Tingle who just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine assists. Brandi Beader cashed one of her three 3-pointers as the Toppers built the margin to 20 early in the second.

Olkosky knocked home another 3 to close the half with West Liberty leading, 55-35, despite 24 of Sydney Clayton’s game-high 35 points.

”Sydney Clayton is a kid that we’ve known for a long time and she is special,” Cooper said. ”She’s a kid that just keeps getting better and better.

”Complements to her. She’s gotten better every time I’ve seen her.”

Tingle opened the third quarter with another 3-pointer and when Beader hit one from the wing, West Liberty had its biggest lead to that point — it reached 40 moments later — at 73-44. Beader was solid with 16 points, six rebounds and three steals.

”This season has been the most consistent we’ve seen Brandi,” Cooper said. ”I think I’ve made this comment before, but I and this team know how good Brandi is because we’ve been able to see it more than everybody else.

”In our prior years with us there would be teams that sit there and say, ‘man, Brandi is really good’ because maybe she had good games against three teams. Where the rest of the conference is putting her down on the scouting report as a role player because they haven’t seen it.

”The reality is, Brandi is an all-conference guard when she is engaged. She’s been a lot more consistent and that is giving us a really, really big lift.”

Taylor Johnson added 15 points, five rebounds and three assists for WLU. No other Rams reached double figures.

Fairmont State 64, Wheeling Jesuit 59

WHEELING–Despite a career-high 25 rebounds by senior forward Chenelle Moore, the Wheeling Jesuit University women’s basketball team was bested by Fairmont State in a Mountain East Conference (MEC) clash at the McDonough Center.

Moore set a new career-high with 25 rebounds (14 offensive), while posting a game-leading 24 points for her sixth double-double of the season.

Freshman guard Kelsi Chapman knocked down three shots from beyond the arc and converted two free throws to finish with 11 points on the night.

COMMENTS