West Liberty Women Down Mercyhurst, 84-75

West Liberty Women Down Mercyhurst, 84-75

ERIE, Pa. – All five starters scored in double-figures and the West Liberty women held off a late Mercyhurst surge here Sunday to close out the Atlantic Region Crossover with an 84-75 win inside the Mercyhurst Athletic Center.

   After opening up a double-digit lead in the first half, CoachKyle Cooper's Hilltoppers never trailed again as they squared their record at 1-1 on the young season but the Black and Gold still had to survive a few nervous moments down the stretch.

Corinne Thomas led the WLU scoring parade with 20 points, highlighted by four 3-point bombs, while freshman guard Baylee Smith added 18 points and 3 steals. Senior guard Audrey Tingle was huge with a dozen points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals. Arriana Manzayworked the paint for 12 points and 5 rebounds while going 6-for-6 from the charity stripe and Karly McCutcheonhit a pair of long 3-pointers as part of her 12-point night.

   "Really proud of this team," Cooper said. "Just from the growth we saw in less than 24 hours from last night's game to tonight, it's easy to see why we think they're such a special group."

   Tingle gave WLU some early separation when she closed out the first quarter with back-to-back hoops for a 20-14 West Liberty lead and consecutive 3-pointers from Karly McCutcheonandCorinne Thomascapped a 12-0 run to put WLU on top, 27-14, barely a minute into the second quarter.

   The Lakers (0-2) were able to reduce the deficit to 40-32 by halftime and kept on chipping away when play resumed. A Paige Woodford 3-pointer cut the Hilltopper lead to 55-53 after three quarters and the hosts kept coming.

   Mercyhurst finally completed its comeback, with a Julia Buchman free-throw producing the game's first tie since the opening minutes, 62-62, with 5:55 still remaining.

   The youthful Hilltoppers rose to meet the challenge, scoring 9 of the game's next 11 points to carry a 71-64 lead into the final three minutes and led by as many as 10 points in the waning seconds to secure their first win.

   All five starters put points on the board during the game's final six minutes.

   "I love the balanced scoring," Cooper said. "That has been a goal of ours from the start in this program. Audrey's double-double was huge. Corinne had a monster game for the second straight night. Bailee hit some big shots late. Everybody contributed. It was a true team win."

   Grace Centrulla led the way for Mercyhurst with 25 points and 12 rebounds. Emily Shopene and Buchman joined her in double-figures with 13 and 10 points, respectively.

   Coach Cooper and his Hilltoppers hit the road again on Wednesday for a non-conference game at Clarion (Pa.). Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content