A 21-point burst in the final 4 minutes of the first half was all No. 4 West Liberty needed to power past Bluefield State, 111-72, Monday night in West Virginia Conference men's basketball action at the ASRC.
The Big Blues (2-17, 2-13) came into the game seeking a third consecutive upset win after knocking off Glenville State and Shepherd in back-to-back shockers last week but Coach Jim Crutchfield and his league-leading Hilltoppers (18-1, 12-1) had other plans.
The visitors took advantage of some poor West Liberty shooting to stay close for much of the first half and trailed just 34-31 as the clock ticked past the 4-minute mark when the Hilltoppers' strategy began to pay off.
Alex Falk led the Hilltoppers with 16 points, 6 steals, 5 assists and 5 rebounds all in the first half as the WLU reserves took up most of the second half minutes. Joining Falk in double-figures were Kelvin Goodwin with 14 points, Harris and Nick Brown with a dozen each. C.J. Hester had his seventh double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
West Liberty goes on the road Thursday night for a 7:30 p.m. game at West Virginia State.
X Monday's win stretched the Hilltoppers' home WVIAC winning streak to 49 games
X West Liberty is now 66-2 in its last 68 conference games at the ASRC dating back to the 2005-06 season
X Ouedraogo's 19 rebounds broke the previous ASRC record of 18 rebounds set by Brice Mills against Shepherd on Jan. 7, 2002 and tied by Hester earlier this season against W.Va. Wesleyan on Nov. 20