Hilltoppers Crack Century Mark in Runaway Win
Seven West Liberty Women Reach Double-Figures in 105-86 Victory
WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. – Freshman guard Bailee Smith poured in 25 points to pace seven double-figure scorers as the West Liberty women's basketball team rolled to a 105-86 win against Alderson Broaddus Saturday afternoon inside the ASRC.
The third straight victory for Coach Kyle Cooper's youthful Hilltoppers (3-1, 1-0) was a convincing one as the Black and Gold led the Battlers (0-2, 0-1) by as many as 34 points in the fourth quarter before coasting to the finish line.
“We’re really happy to be 1-0 today,” Cooper said. “That’s our goal, we talk about it with the team all the time and found a way to make that happen today. We look at the stat sheet and we see balanced scoring, sharing the basketball, tons of assists and I can tell you, that’s exciting for us as a coaching staff!”
Cooper’s squad didn’t waste any time moving this game into the win column. Back-to-back Corinne Thomas 3-pointers produced the afternoon's first double-digit lead, 20-9, just past the midway point of the first quarter and the Hilltoppers were on their way.
The hosts took a 53-36 lead into the locker room at halftime and then scored the first 12 points of the second half in a 3-minute burst to put the game out of reach. The lead eventually swelled to 93-59 on Thomas' fourth bonus bomb of the day at 5:31 of the fourth quarter and Cooper cleared his bench.
The Battlers lived up to their nickname down the stretch, outscoring the hosts, 27-12, over the final 5 minutes to make the final margin a bit more respectable.
Smith had 9 rebounds and 4 assists to go along with her game-high 25 points while Tingle added another double-double to her growing collection with 11 points and MEC season-high 15 assists.
Karly McCutcheon and Thomas finished with 16 and 15 points, respectively, while Anna Lucarelli added a dozen points off the bench. Arriana Manzay checked off a few boxes with 11 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocked shots while Grace Faulk rounded out the double-figure scorers with a 10-point afternoon.
Iyahnna Williams led four double-figure scorers for AB with 15 points and 7 rebounds but was held scoreless in the second half. Taylor Isaac knocked down four 3-pointers and backed Williams with 14 points.
“We’ll go back over today’s game and take a look at things as a coaching staff, show them what they need to see and move forward,” Cooper said. “Right now, though, we’re going to celebrate this like crazy. It feels great to start out 1-0 in league play and I’m really, really excited about who we’re becoming as a team.”
The Hilltoppers take their 3-game winning streak on road Tuesday night for a 5:30 p.m. test against Notre Dame (Ohio).