FAIRMONT, W.Va. — No. 14 West Liberty came from behind to force overtime and then dominated the extra period on Tuesday night to pick up a 103-97 victory against Fairmont State.
The Hilltoppers (5-1, 3-0) never led in the final six minutes of regulation but a Nick Brown 3-pointer with 1:50 remaining knotted the score at 83-83 to complete the comeback. Defense ruled the final seconds and neither team scored again, sending the game into overtime.
Tim Hausfeld put West Liberty ahead to stay at 88-85 with a long 3-pointer at 3:39 of the overtime period and the Hilltoppers never looked back.
After Isaac Thornton answered for the Falcons (0-3, 0-2) with a drive to the rack at 3:16, WLU’s Cedric Harris squirted down the lane for a conventional 3-point play to put the visitors up 91-87.
Harris then came up with a steal at the other end and found Brown in transition for a layup that made it 93-87 with 2:06 remaining. Fairmont misfired on a jumper and Brown added a pair of free throws after being fouled on the rebound for a 95-87 lead.
The Falcons’ Steve Custis tried to keep the hosts in the game with a 3-pointer at 1:32 to trim the lead to 95-90, but Hausfeld drained a 28-foot dagger of a 3-pointer with just over a minute remaining to put the game out of reach.
Chris Morrow led six double-figure scorers for West Liberty with 20 points, 11 rebounds and 6 blocked shots before fouling out in the first minute of overtime.
Harris and Shawn Dyer each finished with 18 points and a game-high 6 assists while Alex Falk and Brown chipped in with 14 and 12 points, respectively. Hausfeld also had 12 points — all coming after intermission — on 4-of-6 shooting from behind the 3-point arc.
Greg Hunt had a game-high 21 points for Fairmont while Custis added 19. Chris Thompson had 18 points and a dozen rebounds while Thornton also finished with 18 points in a losing cause.