West Liberty Sets Men's Basketball Schedule
WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. – A loaded non-conference schedule and the usual gauntlet of Mountain East Conference challengers has West Liberty University head men’s basketball coach Ben Howlett excited as he looks forward to a full slate of games in the 2021-22 season.
With a strong nucleus returning from the 2020-21 Hilltopper squad that won its sixth Atlantic Region title and NCAA Division II Elite Eight berth in the past decade, Howlett beat the bushes to assemble a challenging non-league schedule featuring opponents from five states and four conferences.
“I like our schedule,” Howlett said. “I think five of the 12 MEC teams were ranked in the Top 25 at some point last year so there are no nights ‘off’ in our league. If you’re not ready to compete at a high level every time you step on the floor, you’re going to lose. It was really important for us to put together a non-conference schedule that would help us get ready for MEC play.”
The Black and Gold get things started Nov. 12-13 when they host the Atlantic Region Crossover, taking on Winston-Salem State from the CIAA and perennial PSAC power East Stroudsburg on back-to-back nights. A trip to Pitt-Johnstown follows on Nov. 17 before Alderson Broaddus comes to the ASRC for a mutual MEC lid-lifter on Nov. 20.
The Hilltoppers close out the pre-Thanksgiving slate at Notre Dame (Ohio) on Nov. 23, setting the stage for a Nov. 29 visit from nationally-ranked Daemen (N.Y.) in a much-anticipated matchup of 2021 Elite Eight qualifiers.
The December schedule emphasizes Howlett’s point as it opens with a trip to West Virginia Wesleyan (Dec. 1) and a home game with Davis & Elkins (Dec. 4) before back-to-back tests against Atlantic Region semifinalist Charleston (Dec. 8) and regionally-ranked West Virginia State (Dec. 11).
The non-conference slate wraps up with home games against Wilmington (Del.) on Dec. 19 and Bowie State (Md.) on Jan. 3 before a Jan. 5 game against Concord – the first of 16 straight MEC games to close out the schedule.
Regular season play concludes on Feb. 26 game when the Hilltoppers travel to Ohio County rival Wheeling. The Mountain East Conference Tournament is set for March 2-6 at WesBanco Arena.
(all times Eastern)
Nov. 12: Winston-Salem St. (N.C.)5:30 p.m.
Nov. 13: East Stroudsburg (Pa.)6 p.m.
Nov. 17: at Pitt-Johnstown (Pa.)7 p.m.
Nov. 20: Alderson Broaddus*4 p.m.
Nov. 23: at Notre Dame (Ohio)*4 p.m.
Nov. 29: Daemen (N.Y.)5:30 p.m.
Dec. 1: at W.Va. Wesleyan*7:30 p.m.
Dec. 4: Davis & Elkins*4 p.m.
Dec. 8: Charleston*7:30 p.m.
Dec. 11: at W.Va. State*4 p.m.
Dec. 19: Wilmington (Del.)3 p.m.
Jan. 3: Bowie State (Md.)4 p.m.
Jan. 5: Concord*7:30 p.m.
Jan. 8: at Glenville State*4 p.m.
Jan. 12: at Frostburg State*7:30 p.m.
Jan. 15: Fairmont State*4 p.m.
Jan. 19: at Alderson Broaddus*7:30 p.m.
Jan. 22: Wheeling*4 p.m.
Jan. 26: at Davis & Elkins*7:30 p.m.
Jan. 29: W.Va. Wesleyan*4 p.m.
Feb. 2: W.Va. State*7:30 p.m.
Feb. 5: at Charleston*4 p.m.
Feb. 9: Glenville State*7:30 p.m.
Feb. 12: at Concord*4 p.m.
Feb. 16: Frostburg State*7:30 p.m.
Feb. 19: at Fairmont State*4 p.m.
Feb. 23: Notre Dame (Ohio)*7:30 p.m.
Feb. 26: at Wheeling*4 p.m.
Mar. 2-6: at MEC Tournament**TBA
*-Mountain East Conference game
**-at Wheeling, W.Va.