PHILIPPI, W.Va. - The No. 8 ranked West Liberty University men's basketball team took care of business in its first road game and conference opener this evening at Alderson Broaddus University. The Hilltoppers took control midway through the first half and never looked back on way to the 110-84 victory.
The Battlers battled early on, even taking a six-point lead (12-6) three minutes in. West Liberty was able to flip the script just over four minutes later as they built up their own six-point lead (19-13). The Hilltoppers never trailed after that and jumped out to an 18-point advantage at the break, their largest lead of the game to that point, after a 14-3 run closed out the opening half.
West Liberty kept it rolling in the second half, as they held a 20+ point lead for all but three minutes in the final 20. The Black and Gold pushed the lead up to as much as 30, off a Bryce Butler three-pointer with six minutes to play.
Chaz Hinds made the most of his nine minutes and posted a 15-point, 11-rebound double-double to lead a highly productive bench unit for the Hilltoppers, that produced 48 points. Six of Hinds' 11 boards came on the offensive end, where the Black and Gold held a 22-9 advantage.
Butler led all scorers with 25 points, going 12-for-15 from the field with one triple in his lone attempt. Steve Cannady added 13 points and six assists, while Zach Rasile drained four long balls netting 12 points to round out the quartet of Hilltoppers in double figures.
The 'Topper defense forced 28 turnovers and converted them into 36 points with 22 off the fastbreak. Cannady, Malik McKinney, and Finley Woodward all had three steals to lead the team.
West Liberty will be back home on Tuesday to take on MEC foe Notre Dame College inside the ASRC. Tip off is scheduled for 7:30 pm.