WLU men cruise past W.Va. State

WLU men cruise past W.Va. State

INSTITUTE, W.Va. The No. 1-ranked West Liberty University men’s basketball team took control early and was never threatened in coasting to a 105-85 win at West Virginia State Monday night.

Coach Jim Crutchfield’s Hilltoppers (18-1, 14-1) used a 15-2 blitz over a 2-minute span to take a 27-12 lead with 13:30 still showing on the first half clock and the Yellowjackets (7-12, 4-12) never got the margin into single digits again.

West Liberty pushed the lead to 20 points, 36-16, at the 10-minute mark and led by as many as 29 points before settling for a 61-34 bulge at intermission.

The lead reached 35 points, 89-54, on a Cedric Harris jumper with 10:19 remaining before the Hilltoppers playing the first of three road games this week shifted into cruise control.

West Liberty shot better than 50 percent from the floor (42-of-78, 54 percent) and from the 3-point arc (14-of-25, 56 percent) while forcing 20 turnovers and dominating the backboards by a 41-31 margin. Nearly half (18) of those 41 rebounds came on the offensive glass as the Hilltoppers posted a whopping 26-4 edge in second-chance points.

Freshman Devin Hoehn drained 4 3-pointers in the game’s first 5 minutes and finished with a WLU season-high 7 bonus bombs on 7-of-9 shooting and 21 points. Harris led all scorers with 28 points while handing out 5 assists and collecting 3 steals.

Shawn Dyer came off the bench with 18 points, 5 rebounds and a game-high 6 assists. Keene Cockburn rounded out the double-figure scorers with 12 points to go along with a season-high 5 blocked shots.

Anton Hutchins scored 21 points to pace West Virginia State.

The Hilltoppers head even farther south on Thursday when they travel to Concord for a 7:30 p.m. game.