McCutcheon's Career Night Keys West Liberty Win
WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. – Karly McCutcheon poured in a game-high 23 points and buried six 3-pointers – both career-highs – Wednesday night as the West Liberty women completed a season sweep of Frostburg State by an 86-62 count inside the ASRC.
Coach Kyle Cooper's Hilltoppers (17-8, 12-7) shot better than 50 percent from the floor and four WLU players finished with four or more assists as the Black and Gold led the Bobcats (5-20, 4-15) by double-figures for the last 19 minutes of the game.
"It was good to be back at home after being on the road so much," Cooper said. "We were a little out of synch early but settled in offensively more and more as the game progressed. Twenty-one assists on 33 made shots and four players with four or more assists are good numbers. We needed to come out of here tonight feeling good about ourselves and I think we did that."
Frostburg State was able to maintain contact for much of the early going and trailed just 17-16 after one quarter. West Liberty used its defense to create some separation in the second quarter, holding the visitors without a field goal for the first 4 1/2 minutes to open up a 26-18 gap before coasting into halftime with 39-29 advantage.
The Bobcats' Shelby Funchess hit the opening basket of the second half, trimming the deficit to 39-31, but a Corinne Thomas 3-pointer and a Arriana Manzay layup off a Thomas assist pushed the count to 44-31 and the Hilltoppers never looked back.
West Liberty shot just under 60 percent (18-31, .581) after intermission and led by as many as 25 points down the stretch.
"When we're locked in on defense and playing at the pace we like, that creates a lot of offensive opportunities," Cooper said. "The ball was moving with that 'good shot, better shot, best shot' sequence that we like to see. As a result, we took better shots with better shot selection and made over 50 percent of our shots. It's all about sharing the basketball."
McCutcheon went 6-of-12 from the 3-point arc and was 8-of-15 overall to finish with a game-high 23 points while grabbing 4 rebounds and dishing out 4 assists. Bailee Smith added 15 points before fouling out in the fourth quarter while Thomas and Molly Bauer contributed a dozen points each.
Senior point guard Audrey Tingle just missed her 16th double-double of the season with 8 points, 7 assists and 3 steals to go along with a dozen rebounds.
Samiya Esema led the way for Frostburg State with 18 points and 9 boards. Maggie Sharp added 10 points in a losing cause.
The West Liberty women head right back out on the road Saturday afternoon for a crucial MEC showdown against Fairmont State. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. inside Joe Retton Arena.