SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio - The No. 8/10 ranked West Liberty University men's basketball team picked up its ninth straight win Wednesday night with a 100-57 victory at Notre Dame College.
The Hilltoppers used a monster 27-0 run from 15:25 - 9:44 in the second half to assert their dominance and take a 78-40 lead. Ben Sarson had 10 points on the run with three triples. He finished with a game-high 20 points and tied a career-best with five long balls.
11 different players scored and five netted double digits in the rout. Malik McKinney shot 5-for-6 from the floor and 6-for-7 from the free throw line for 16 points, Bryce Butler scored 15 points, then Chaz Hinds and Alek West added 10 points each.
West Liberty (24-3, 19-2) went back-and-forth for the first five minutes with the Falcons (16-11, 12-9), then scored 23 of the next 29 points to take a 15-point lead (32-17) at the 7:12 mark in the first half. The Hilltoppers opened the second half with a 7-1 run before Notre Dame answered with a 7-0 spurt to make it an 11-point game (51-40). The largest run of the season, 27-0, ensued for the Black and Gold putting the game out of reach, as they cruised to the win. The 27-0 stretch extended to a 44-8 run going up 95-48 with less than four and a half minutes to play. West Liberty led by as many as 49 points (100-51) with two minutes remaining.
The Hilltoppers shot 62.5% in the second half from the floor and went 7-for-14 from beyond the arc. Overall, WLU outshot NDC 11-3 from beyond the arc and held a 46-32 edge in points in the paint controlling all facets of the game.
West Liberty's press was in full effect forcing 22 turnovers, the 13th time causing 20-plus this season. Eight different Hilltoppers recorded steals, Cannady led with three. WLU outscored Notre Dame 31-4 in points off turnovers. The 'Topper defense held Notre Dame to 32.3% shooting, the best defensive outing of the season.
All 13 Hilltoppers pulled down a rebound. Montague led with seven boards and dished out a game-high seven assists as well. The Hilltoppers assisted on 23 of their 37 made baskets and had 10 different players record an assist.
West Liberty will host Wheeling on Saturday at 4 pm inside the ASRC for the regular season finale and will celebrate Senior Day prior to tip off.