WBB: Notre Dame, West Virginia Wesleyan Advance to Quarterfinals

WBB: Notre Dame, West Virginia Wesleyan Advance to Quarterfinals

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#10 Notre Dame 82, #7 Glenville State 78 (OT)

Box Score | Press Conferences

By Duane Cochran for MountainEast.org

WHEELING – Tenth-seeded Notre Dame College rallied from a 10-point deficit in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter to tie seventh-seeded and defending Mountain East Conference Tournament champion Glenville State at 67 and force overtime here Wednesday afternoon in the opening round of the annual league tournament at WesBanco Arena.

In the extra five minutes the Falcons outscored the Pioneers 15-11, including a 3-of-4 performance at the foul line in the game’s final 17 seconds, to secure a hard-fought 82-78 victory.

The win improved Notre Dame, which recently announced it will close at the end of the semester, to 11-18 overall and sets up a meeting in the quarterfinals Thursday at noon with second-seeded West Virginia State University.

The Falcons became the fourth No. 10 seed in MEC Women’s Basketball Tournament history to win an opening-round game.

“The game was ugly and scrappy, but the girls really stuck together, fought and made plays when it counted,” NDC coach Lauren Macer said. “I’m so proud of them.”

To get the victory Notre Dame had to overcome 38 turnovers and the fact that Glenville took 36 more field goal attempts in the game. The Falcons did that by outrebounding the Pioneers 56-43 and by holding them to just a 30.7 percent shooting performance for the game (27-of-88), including a 9-of-33 showing from 3-point range (27.3 percent).

“It was really just next play mentality for us,” said Notre Dame’s Lilee Carlson, who finished with a team-high 28 points, 16 of which came in the final two quarters and overtime. “Glenville puts a lot of pressure on you. All week we talked about focusing on the next play and valuing the ball, which we didn’t necessarily do a great job of, but we were able to pick each other up, move on to the next play and get back on defense.”

NDC’s Karli Anker, who scored 15 of her 18 points in the game’s final 25 minutes, says the fact that the school is closing provided extra motivation for her team Wednesday.

“With the school closing I really feel like it gave all of us strength and power today,” Anker said. “We really gave it our all.”

Notre Dame also got 15 points and a game-high 13 rebounds from Noel Weathers. She had 11 points and six rebounds after the halftime break.

With the loss Glenville State finishes its season at 18-11. The Pioneers, who battled a wealth of injuries this year, also saw their streak of 10 consecutive appearances in the quarterfinals and six straight appearances in the championship game come to an end Wednesday.

“We came to the tournament ready to play and ready to make some noise after a really tough season, but we didn’t do what we were supposed to do to win the game today,” first-year GSU coach Emily Stoller said. “Notre Dame is playing hard. They’re coached by an extremely talented coach and a former Mountain East Conference coach of the year. With the school closing they’re here to play every game like it’s the last one in their uniform and that’s exactly what they did today.”

Despite Glenville’s offensive struggles, led by Hya Haywood and Chalon Miles, the Pioneers overcame a three-point halftime deficit and took a 48-46 lead heading to the fourth quarter. Just over four minutes into the fourth, Glenville opened a 60-50 advantage and it appeared as if the Pioneers would pull away. They didn’t, however, and the Falcons stormed back and forced overtime.

“We had a lot of mental errors,” said Haywood, who finished with a game-high 29 points. “Sometimes we play too fast for ourselves. There’s a lot of stuff like missed box outs and mental mistakes that we could have keyed in and focused on today to help us win the game. Unfortunately, we missed on those opportunities. They made shots and they won the game.”

Miles finished with 21 points for the Pioneers and six rebounds, while Dream Cherry chipped in 11 points.

The loss was the third in a row for Glenville State.


#9 West Virginia Wesleyan 77, #8 West Liberty 64

Box Score | Press Conferences

By Duane Cochran for MountainEast.org

WHEELING – Ninth-seeded West Virginia Wesleyan pretty much controlled its game with eighth-seeded West Liberty from the outset leading for over 36 minutes of the contest en route to a 77-64 victory in the opening round of the annual Mountain East Conference Basketball Tournament here Wednesday afternoon at WesBanco Arena.

The win, the Bobcats’ second in a row, improved them to 10-16 and puts Wesleyan in the league tournament quarterfinals for the first time since the 2021 season. Wesleyan will face top-seeded and regular-season champion Fairmont State in Thursday’s quarterfinals at 6 p.m.

West Liberty, meanwhile, finished its season at 9-20.

The contest was close for three quarters. With the score tied at 41 with 4:41 to play in the third, Wesleyan closed out the period on a 9-3 run to open a 50-44 advantage and never looked back.

Less than three minutes into the final quarter the Bobcats’ lead had ballooned to 10 and it was never really close again.

“I thought we played really well today,” Wesleyan coach Brett Vincent said. “We were fortunate because West Liberty didn’t shoot the ball as well as they normally do and that obviously helped us.

“We just played really well together and Daveona (Hatchell) was huge for us on the glass today. Those rebounds led to some extra possessions and free throws. Emma (Witt) was also very good. Emma’s been good night in and night out for us for two years now.”

Witt led Wesleyan with 21 points, while Hatchell chipped in 19 points off of the bench and grabbed a game-high 21 rebounds. Her 21 rebounds were the third most in an MEC Tournament game.

The Bobcats dominated the game on the glass outrebounding West Liberty, 52-29. Twenty of Wesleyan’s rebounds came on the offensive boards and resulted in the Bobcats outscoring the Hilltoppers 23-10 in second-chance points.

“When we lost Emma there for a while to foul trouble I was just trying to step up for my team,” Hatchell said. “Coach said rebounding would be a big key to the game and I was just trying to do that for us.”

Witt says Hatchell’s efforts were huge in the victory for Wesleyan.

“When the run came where we took over the game for good it really came from D (Hatchell),” Witt said. “Nobody gives her enough attention. Today she had a great game. She might not necessarily have as many points in other games but she always does the dirty work for us. She really doesn’t get the attention she deserves.”

Hatchell scored 10 of her points and grabbed 15 of her rebounds in the final two quarters for the Bobcats.

The loss was the third in a row for West Liberty which failed to make the conference tournament quarterfinals for the first time since 2020.

“I’ll start by saying what needs said and that’s you have to give credit to Wesleyan,” West Liberty coach Kyle Cooper said. “I thought when we made our run there and tied it that the game really changed. It was a real grind until that point.

“We kept making runs at them and tying it and they’d hit timely baskets or get offensive rebounds which would lead to second-chance points for them. That hurt us. That was the story of the game.”

West Liberty was just 6-of-29 for the game from 3-point range. The Hilltoppers entered the contest as the top team in the MEC percentage-wise (35.6 percent) from long distance.

“During the stretch in the third quarter when we tied the game we were really clicking, shots were falling and everyone was contributing,” said the Hilltoppers’ Corinne Thomas, who finished with 11 points. “But then we lost sight of the defensive side of the ball and getting stops. They got too many second-chance points and as the stats show we got outrebounded. It hurt us.”

Jenna Riccardo led West Liberty with 18 points and six rebounds. The Hilltoppers also got 11 points from both Karly McCutcheon and Bailee Smith.

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