Strong Second Half Powers No. 22 Hilltoppers Past Davis & Elkins

WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. - The No. 22 ranked West Liberty University men's basketball team outscored Davis & Elkins by 30 points in the second half to break the game open en route to a 104-69 conference victory Wednesday night in front of the home crowd inside the ASRC.

Bryce Butler recorded his sixth double-double of the season with a game-high 20 points and 10 rebounds leading five Hilltoppers in double digits. Butler went 7-for-11 from the field with a perfect 2-for-2 mark from beyond the arc and 4-for-4 effort at the free throw line.

An early 10-0 run for West Liberty (16-3, 11-2) put the Hilltoppers ahead by double digits just over five minutes in, but the Senators (10-9, 4-9) were ready for battle early. Davis & Elkins rattled off an 11-2 run to bring the game back within one possession (31-28) at the six minute mark in the first half. A back-and-forth last six minutes sent the game to the break with WLU ahead 39-34.

Out of the locker room, the Hilltoppers flipped the switch scoring 15 of the first 17 points and never let it get back within double digits. A string of four straight three pointers in as many attempts, two from Dante Spadafora and two by Grant Barnhart, gave the Black and Gold its largest lead of the game (104-67) in the final minute.

Spadafora totaled four long balls scoring 12 points, all of which in the second half, while Alek West and Zach Rasile had 11 apiece to lead the Hilltopper reserves, who accounted for over half of the teams points (54). Ben Sarson added 10 points for the Black and Gold.

West Liberty drained 20 three pointers, 15 of which came in the second half, finishing the night shooting 51.3% from deep, while holding D&E to just five makes from deep. 

The Black and Gold tied a season-high with 33 assists on 38 made field goals. West led the way with five, while Butler, Montague, Steve Cannady, Sapadafora, and Chaz Hinds all dished out four apiece.

The Hilltoppers forced 27 turnovers, the most since November and third most in a game this season. They converted the 27 Senator cough ups into 33 points, scoring 21 of those 33 in the second half.

West Liberty will hit the road for the next two games, first up a trip to West Virginia Wesleyan on Saturday. Tip off is slated for 4 pm.


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