Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sizzling West Liberty Women Drop 113 on Fairmont State

WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. – The West Liberty University women’s basketball team may not have played a perfect game against Fairmont State Tuesday night but the Hilltoppers certainly came close.

Coach Lynn Ullom’s Hilltoppers delighted a raucous ASRC crowd by jumping on the arch rival Falcons from the opening tap and never took their foot off the accelerator in sprinting off to a shocking 113-55 triumph.

“Our defensive intensity was incredible in the first half,” said West Liberty head coach Lynn Ullom. “We’re pretty good when we can get out and run and we created a lot of opportunities by forcing turnovers and crashing the boards.”

Already sitting on a 20-15 lead, West Liberty broke the game open with a blurry fast 15-0 run midway through the first half.

Laura Malernee and Jordan Stacey got things started with back-to-back 3-pointers and Tori Hansen followed with a strong post-up move in the paint.

A transition 3-pointer from Malernee pushed the margin to 31-15, forcing a Fairmont State timeout at 8:43, but the Hilltoppers weren’t finished.

Hansen kept the surge going with a fast break and Meghan Wiseman sailed down for a layup to force another Falcon timeout as the lead hit 20 points, 35-15, with 7:08 on the clock

Shooting a sizzling 70 percent from the floor, West Liberty coasted into halftime with a 47-28 lead behind 16 points from Hansen and 13 from Malernee.

The Hilltoppers picked up where they had left off when play resumed, pushing the lead to 66-36 less than 5 minutes into the second half and slowly padding the margin the rest of the way.

All five West Liberty starters hit double figures with Hansen’s double-double – 22 points, 12 rebounds – leading the way. Malernee drained 5 3-pointers and finished with 19 points while Jenni Robbins added 15 points and a game-high 9 assists. Stacey (14) and Wiseman (11) rounded out the double-figure scorers.

“I thought our starters were phenomenal tonight,” Ullom said. “Tori just does so many things out there and I thought Laura set the tone early with her defense and running the floor. Jenni and Jordan shot and passed the ball extremely well and Meghan did a super defensive job against one of the best posts in the league.”

Kaitlin Snyder led the Falcons with 20 points while Lauren Gilbert added 11 off the bench. Senior center Rachel Murray, who came into the night averaging more than 19 points and 13 rebounds a game, was held to just 7 points and 5 rebounds.

“Fairmont’s a better team than that. This was just one of those nights as a coach and a team when everything comes together,” Ullom said.

“Of course, it’s just one game. We get to enjoy it tonight and then start getting ready for Charleston. They’re the most talented team in the league and they’ll be here Thursday night.”

The Charleston game tips off at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

Game Notes
    X The 113 points were the most ever allowed by a Fairmont State women’s team but fell short of West Liberty’s school record of 117 points, set against Salem International on Feb. 1, 2010
    X The Hilltoppers set a school record with 37 assists
    X Hansen has now hit double-figures in 57 of her last 58 games
    X West Liberty is 46-5 (.902) in WVIAC games at the ASRC since the 2004-05 season

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