Thrilling Road Win for West Liberty Women

Thrilling Road Win for West Liberty Women

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Liberty women's basketball team came from behind in the waning minutes here Saturday to pull out a crucial 78-77 win against Charleston at the H.B. Wehrle Arena.

   Karly McCutcheon drained two free throws with 4.6 seconds on the clock to erase a 77-76 deficit and Coach Kyle Cooper's Hilltoppers (16-6, 11-5) got the stop at the other end to seal the victory.

   The loss spoiled a fine comeback effort from the host Golden Eagles (12-7, 10-5), who had rallied from an early 14-point deficit to open up a 67-62 lead midway through the fourth quarter.

   West Liberty didn't take its first lead of the quarter until Bailee Smith's driving layup put the visitors up, 76-75, with just 33 seconds remaining.

   Charleston's Maggie Stephenson grabbed a missed shot by teammate Sierra Davis and pushed it back through the hoop for a 77-76 UC lead, setting up a frantic final 15 seconds.

   With the clock under 10 seconds, Smith attacked the rim once again but couldn't get this one to drop. Arriana Manzay was injured on a foul after grabbing the offensive rebound and had to be helped off the court with 4.6 seconds remaining.

   McCutcheon came off the bench to shoot the two free throws in Manzay's absence and converted both for a 78-77 Hilltopper lead.

   Following a timeout, Charleston's Markyia McCormick forced up a wild shot off a drive that caromed off the rim. Stephenson grabbed the rebound and made the put-back but not before the horn had sounded.

   Corinne Thomas led all scorers for West Liberty with 28 points - 9 of them coming in the last five minutes of the game. Smith added 18 points while Audrey Tingle chipped in with 9 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists.

   Davis and McCormick topped all scorers for the hosts with 23 and 22 points, respectively. Trinity Palacio just missed a triple-double with 11 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists.

   The Hilltoppers return home on Wednesday to host unbeaten and No. 1-ranked Glenville State. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m. inside the ASRC.

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