PHILIPPI, W.Va. - The West Liberty University women's basketball team won its Mountain East Conference opener, 82-73, over Alderson Broaddus on the road this afternoon.
Karly McCutcheon and Arriana Manzay were at it again to lead the Hilltoppers. McCutcheon posted 24 points, grabbed six rebounds, and dished out four assists, while Manzay charted a 23-point, 11-rebound double-double.
West Liberty jumped ahead 8-2 two minutes into the game, but over the next five-plus minutes the Battlers were able to battle back and tie the game at 16. West Liberty trailed just twice in the first half and it was by one-point both times. Natalija Sekulovska drained a three and then drove to the hoop for five straight points late in the second quarter before back-to-back Battler baskets ended the half to give the Hilltoppers a three-point edge (39-36) at the break.
A 7-0 run in the early parts of the third quarter put Alderson Broaddus up five, their first two-possession lead of the game. West Liberty quickly brought it back within one score and took the lead off a Bailey Beckstedt lay in at the 2:48 mark. After a couple back-and-forth scores, the Hilltoppers ended the third with five straight Manzay buckets to take a 60-55 lead into the final 10 minutes.
Manzay continued her dominance down low in the fourth quarter, racking up 19 of her 23 points in the second half. Behind Manzay, West Liberty maintained the lead for the entire fourth frame and stretched it to as many as 13 with just under three and a half minutes to play.
The 'Topper defense held the Battlers to just 1-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc, while the offense drained eight triples.
Alderson Broaddus had a slight edge on the boards, 47-43, but on the offensive end the Black and Gold was +1 (16-15) on the glass and +10 on second chance points (16-6).
West Liberty will finally be inside the ASRC next week, hosting Notre Dame College for its home opener on Tuesday at 5:30 pm.