West Liberty Men’s Basketball Takes Down West Virginia Wesleyan

Hoehn leads way for West Liberty with 20 points, Griffin tallies 19

Photo provided by WLU Athletics West Liberty’s David Dennis goes in for a layup as West Virginia Wesleyan’s Jalen Melvin (15) attmepts for a block.

WEST LIBERTY — With Dan Monteroso out of the lineup and in a walking boot, West Liberty went to work like it always does. The Hilltoppers’ pressure forced West Virginia Wesleyan into a faster pace than it prefers, in part leading to a 92-69 victory Thursday night at the ASRC.

Devin Hoehn led the way with a game-high 20 points, 18 of which came in the first half as the No. 7 Hilltoppers (23-2 overall, 17-2 Mountain East) were never threatened.

“It was a team win,” WLU coach Jim Crutchfield said. “A good indication was in the first half I think they were like 5 of 6 from behind the arc, 80 percent from the foul line and 50 percent from the floor. We’re not shooting the ball well but we’re up 20.

“So we were controlling the boards, getting some steals and getting few easy buckets off turnovers.

“I think we took care of business to where they shot the ball well and we didn’t, but we were going to win. It had that feel to me.”

And so it was.

West Liberty hit six 3-pointers – two each from Hoehn, Zac Grossenbacher and James Griffin – and used a 14-0 run midway through a first half that ended with them in front of the Bobcats (12-13, 9-10), 55-35.

Wesleyan opened the second half with the first five points but the Toppers countered with six in a row from Clay Guillozet, Grossenbacher and Tyler Primmer, to make it 61-40.

“Good pressure kept them out of their offense,” Crutchfield said. “We did not want to get into a halfcourt game with them and defend that offense every single possession.

“The use of 10 guys, it was a good time to do it. And everybody was involved.

“Offensively Devin looked awfully good. He’s getting stronger. All of a sudden the shot clock is going down and he is saying, ‘I can get us one. We don’t need a screen, I can take my guy 1-on-1.”

A Griffin 3-pointer produced the largest lead at 25 points – 80-55 – and West Liberty, much to Crutchfield’s chagrin, put it on cruise control.

Griffin backed Hoehn with 19 points while Guillozet added 10 points and seven rebounds — six offensive. Grossenbacher also finished with 10 points.

Point guard David Dennis Jr. one again stuffed the stat sheet with 11 rebounds, eight assists and six points. He dominated the play while taking just eight shots.

“If a couple more shots had gone in he could have easily had 10 assists,” Crutchfield said.

Mo Berchie paced the Bobcats with 18 points. Kevin Kangni added 13 and Jalen Melvin had 12 to go with a game-high 15 rebounds.

Glenville State 79, Wheeling Jesuit 71

GLENVILLE, W. Va. – After battling back from the slow start, the Cardinals could not hold its comeback lead Thursday night. Glenville State answered the Wheeling Jesuit men’s basketball second half charge and recorded the Mountain East Conference upset.

Trailing by as many as 13 points in the early part of the game, the Cardinals (19-6/13-6 MEC) went on a 12-0 midway through the second half and opened a 56-50 lead with 8:43 remaining. The Pioneers (11-12/7-11 MEC), though, regained the momentum with an 8-0 run, 58-56, before they netted a bucket for a 66-64 edge and never trailed again.

In its toughest night from the floor this season, WJU connected on only 25 of 75 attempts for 33.3-percent. The visitors also downed only 9 of 31 treys and 12 of 21 from the charity stripe.

The Cardinals did dominate the glass, 54-39, and it was their second and third shots, which allowed the second-half surge.

Both Jarin Hilson and Pat Moseh contributed 19 points apiece. Hilson drilled five 3-pointers in nine tries and Moseh grabbed nine rebounds.

Preston Boswell was the lone other double-figure scorer with 10 points and three assists.

Haywood Highsmith pulled down 11 boards, but scored only four points. Dominique Tham and Kyle Ritz added six points apiece and seven and six rebounds. Chase Lawson chipped in seven tallies.

The Pioneers received big games from Terry Davis, Jr. and Jaron Plummer, who hit for 19 and 17 points in the win.

Glenville State rode a hit 3-point shooting start. The Pioneers first four shots and four of the game’s opening five buckets were treys for a 12-2 lead less than five minutes into the night. The home team made it a 13-point difference twice, 17-4 and 24-11, halfway through the opening stanza.

WJU battled back and pulled within five points, 36-31, capped by back-to-back Hilson treys in the final 1:10 of the half.

WJU completes its six road games in seven contests Saturday afternoon when it plays at West Virginia Wesleyan at 4 p.m.


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