WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. – The No. 5 ranked West Liberty University men's basketball team posted a dominating 121-54 victory over West Virginia Wesleyan tonight inside the ASRC to stay perfect, 6-0, on the season.
Zach Rasile bookended a 9-0 run with layups, after Michael Sampson steals, to put the Hilltoppers up 23-10 seven minutes into the game. West Liberty never let it get back within single digits after that on way to the 67-point thrashing.
Christian Montague hit a three pointer before the halftime horn to send the 'Toppers to the break ahead by 36 points (68-32), the largest of the game at that point. The Black and Gold had 10 players in the scoring column at the half and shot 52.4% (11-of-21) from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes leading to the highest scoring first half of the season.
An early 12-0 run capped off by a pair of Rasile triples but the Hilltoppers up 54 with just under 15 minutes to play. The lead continued to rise getting as high as 69 at the 3:20 mark off a Grant Barnhart three pointer, his first score of the season.
Montague and Rasile ended the night with 19 points and five three pointers each to lead the Black and Gold. Four other Hilltoppers netted double figures in the season-high scoring night. Steve Cannady scored 18 points and added six assists along with four steals. Ben Sarson swatted two blocks, swiped two steals, and charted 13 points. Meanwhile, Bryce Butler and Alek West had 10 points apiece.
West Liberty assisted on 33 of their 47 made field goals, which included 20 three pointers. The 'Toppers shot 54.7% overall and 42.6% from beyond the arc, while holding Wesleyan to just two three pointers and a 34.3 field goal percentage on 16 less shots.
Lockdown defense by the Hilltoppers forced 29 Bobcat turnovers which got converted into 41 West Liberty points. On the offensive end, the 'Toppers treasured the rock only giving it up six times for two Bobcat points.
West Liberty will be back on the hardwood on Saturday at Davis & Elkins. Tip off is scheduled for 4 pm.