MEC Women's Basketball: Quarterfinal Recaps
Charleston 82, West Virginia State 58 | Final Stats
WHEELING, W.Va. – Charleston picked up an 82-58 win over cross-town rival West Virginia State in the MEC Tournament Quarterfinals on Thursday afternoon at WesBanco Arena.
The Golden Eagles moved to 19-8 on the year, while West Virginia State fell to 18-11.
Charleston led wire-to-wire in the victory. UC built a 20-13 lead after first quarter, and then 40-25 at the break. The Golden Eagles led by double digits for a majority of the afternoon.
UC shot 42 percent from the field and held WVSU to just 26 percent shooting for the game. Clarissa Francis controlled the inside for UC with 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting to go with 10 rebounds. Markyia McCormick had 14 points.
Shelby Harmeyer led the way for WVSU with 16 points. Ashley Davis added 10 more for the Yellow Jackets.
West Liberty 79, Fairmont State 70 | Final Stats
WHEELING, W.Va. – West Liberty held off a late Fairmont State rally and claimed a 79-70 win over the Falcons in the MEC Tournament Quarterfinals.
West Liberty (21-8) moves on to the semifinals against Charleston. Fairmont State finishes its season at 15-13.
After a close first period, West Liberty moved in front in the second quarter to take a 39-30 into halftime. The ‘Toppers came out strong in the third period and led by as many as 19 with 4:09 left in the quarter.
Leading by 17 with 8:43 left in the game, Fairmont State started a furious rally led by Sierra Kotchman. Kotchman hit three of her game-high nine three-pointers during that stretch to pull the Falcons to within three at 73-70 with 1:40 left. After a stop, Fairmont State had an opportunity to tie the game, but the three-point attempt would not go down
After a timeout, West Liberty’s Audrey Tingle drove to the basket and got a crucial layup to fall that gave the Hilltoppers a critical five-point, two-possession lead with under a minute left. WLU made its free throws down the stretch to seal the 79-70 win.
Tingle led four West Liberty players in double figures with 18 points. She also had eight rebounds and six assists. Arriana Manzay had 17 points, Bailee Smith had 15, and Corinne Thomas added 12.
Kotchman, the MEC’s all-time leading scorer, finished with a game-high 33 points. Bre Wilson added 11 more for the Falcons in a losing effort.
No. 1 Glenville State 105, No. 9 Wheeling 45 | Final Stats
By Shawn Rine for MountainEast.org
WHEELING – Few if any teams assert their dominance as effortlessly or efficiently as the Glenville State women. And once the Pioneers do so, there’s not much the opposition can do in order to stop the onslaught.
Wheeling University was on the wrong end of that equation during a quarterfinal matchup Thursday night at WesBanco Arena. Glenville (27-0), the top seed and No. 1-ranked D-II team in the country, ran off the game’s first 14 points and continued to pour it on throughout on the way to a tournament-record 60-point victory against the ninth-seeded Cardinals (8-20).
“I thought we played really hard and had a balanced effort all over the court,” Glenville coach Kim Stephens said. “We got a balanced effort rebounding.
“We got a balanced effort in assists and in steals.”
And now the Pioneers have a date on Semifinal Saturday.
In addition to the margin of victory record, Glenville also set a mark for steals (20) and one for halftime margin, where it held a 50-18 upper hand on Wheeling.
“Obviously we’re disappointed in the way we came out and performed, (but) we knew we had a tough task in front of us,” Cardinals coach Matt Schmidt said. “We had a lot of goals coming in here and not many of them came true.
“Glenville and their style of play is very unique. It’s ‘can you handle the pressure?’ ‘Can you be the one to dictate the tempo?’
“To me, it’s handle their pressure and execute in the halfcourt. Obviously their offense is led by their defense.”
That was evident early and often as the Cardinals consistently had difficulty getting the ball past midcourt, which resulted in Glenville holding a 37-2 advantage in points off turnovers. And perhaps most frustrating for Wheeling, was that even when it managed to get the Pioneers to miss, 26 offensive rebounds negated the momentum.
“For the majority of the night we were contesting the shots below the logo,” Schmidt said. “When you’re contesting shots below the logo you’re not in very good defensive position and they just keep churning.”
Glenville had handled Wheeling easily twice during the regular season, but Stephens wasn’t about to allow her undefeated team to take this game lightly. In fact, that’s been a regular battle cry through the years for the program.
“It’s a lesson I’ve learned in the past as a coach and I try to get ahead of them with that,” she said. “We humble them a lot and we had a couple close calls already this year where it seemed like our mentality was that we could step on the floor and that was good enough.
“We’ve learned from our mistakes and we’ve gotten very lucky that those mistakes didn’t result in losses.”
Zakiyah Winfield paced the Pioneers with a game-high 23 points and conference player of the year Re’Shawna Stone added 22. Dazha Congleton checked in with 16 while Taychaun Hubbard and freshman Skylar Davidson, who finished with six steals – one off the tournament record – evenly divided 14 points.
MEC scoring champ Lauren Calhoun paved the way for the Cardinals with 14 points and nine rebounds. Shamia Storm and Ally Ziegler scored five each.
No. 5 Notre Dame 69, No, 4 Concord 59 | Final Stats
By Shawn Rine for MountainEast.org
WHEELING, W.Va. – Sometimes a single player can make all the difference. Not necessarily in the box score, but also in the attitude of a team.
Jada Marone checks both boxes for the Notre Dame women.
Marone, who battled injuries throughout much of the season, is back with a vengeance. Concord wishes she wasn’t.
The 5-foot-4 senior scored a game-high 27 points in a little more than 24 minutes and the fifth-seeded Falcons (15-13) held No. 4 Concord (20-11) to 35.9-percent shooting in a quarterfinal matchup that sets the stage for a meeting with top-ranked Glenville on Saturday.
“We may have not had the best season we’d hoped for, but we’re figuring it out,” NDC coach Imani Gordon said. “It doesn’t matter if we’ve had (Marone) back for one game, two games, three games, whatever.
“She gives us a boost out there and I think our team really thrives off her energy.”
Thursday night inside WesBanco Arena, the Falcons thrived off Marone’s free-throw shooting, particularly late in the contest. She knocked down 13 of 16 overall, including seven straight down the stretch to thwart a Mountain Lions rally.
Notre Dame didn’t trail after Theresa Parr’s jumper with 6:07 left in the first quarter, but it was a tight game most of the way. The Falcons’ biggest lead was 10, and that didn’t occur until late in the fourth quarter when free throws became a factor.
“We held them to 69 (points) and we fouled there (at the end) a couple times,” Concord coach Kenny Osborne said. “Defensively I thought we were OK, but we just couldn’t score.
“We missed some wide-open shots that we normally make and when you don’t make shots, it becomes difficult.”
Out of the half the Lions cut it to a two-point game on a 3-pointer by Jazz Blankenship, but they never quite could get over the hump. Tamia Ridley, who backed Marone with a double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds, responded immediately to give a little more breathing room.
Then in the fourth quarter when Gracie Robinson calmly sank a 3-pointer, Concord had again made it a one-possession game (47-46). In fact, that was the scenario twice more before Notre Dame created some distance for good.
Following a basket from Maddie Ratcliff (team-high 16 points to go with six rebounds) that got Concord within 52-50, Notre Dame put it away with an 8-0 run that pushed the margin to 10.
“I’ve had some ups and downs and a little bit of pain, but nothing I can’t fight through for this team,” Marone said. “This team’s worth it.
“You’ve got people like Tamia I’ve played with for three years, so if I can give every ounce of sweat and energy I can for her and the team, I’ll do it.”
The loss ended the stellar career of Riley Fitzwater, who has helped Concord’s ascent from also-ran into perennial contender. She went out with yet another double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds.
“I remember coming to Concord my first season and the preseason poll came out and Concord was picked to finish 12th out of 12 teams in the conference,” Fitzwater said. “I think we finished sixth or seventh that year and the next year it was fourth.
“I think it’s been third, fourth, fifth every year. I just appreciate Coach “Os” taking a chance on me.
“I appreciate all he has done for me.”