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WLU Men Ranked 15th in NABC Coaches’ Poll

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Despite seeing a 10-game winning streak snapped in a Top 25 showdown against Fairmont State on Saturday, the West Liberty University men’s basketball was listed as No. 15 on Tuesday when the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) released its weekly NCAA D2 Top 25.

With their 196th appearance in the national Top 25 rankings – all of them coming in the past 15 seasons – the Hilltoppers are on the verge of joining a small but select group of NCAA Division II programs with 200 or more Top 25 rankings since the first official poll was released during the 1960-61 season.

Current NCAA Division II programs with more than 200 Top 25 appearances include Kentucky Wesleyan, Southern Indiana, Florida Southern, Virginia Union, Indiana (Pa.) and Northwest Missouri State.

Coach Ben Howlett’s current squad split its two Mountain East Conference games last week. West Liberty poured in a season-high 124 points in Wednesday’s 124-84 win at Frostburg State and led then No. 18-ranked Fairmont by as many as 19 points in the second half only to see the Falcons mount a late surge and escape with a 100-97 win.

There’s no change at the top of this week’s Top 25 with No. 1 Lubbock Christian (16-0), No. 2 Northwest Missouri State (15-1) and No. 3 Nova Southeastern (15-0) staying put from a week ago. Fairmont State’s impressive road upset vaulted the Falcons (13-2) from No. 18 to No. 14 with WLU (14-2) slipping from No. 8 to No. 15. The University of Charleston – now the only MEC team with fewer than two losses – just missed cracking this week’s Top 25 and leads the list of teams also receiving votes with 21.

The West Liberty men will try to start another winning streak on the road Wednesday when they travel to Alderson Broaddus for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff.

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