Top-seeded and No. 1-ranked West Liberty (31-1) sprinted out to a 26-point halftime lead and never looked back in breezing to an Atlantic Region quarterfinal win against CIAA tournament champion Bowie State (16-14).
Coach Jim Crutchfield’s Hilltoppers, who shot 67 percent (40-of-60) from the floor on the night, used a 12-0 run to take the lead for good 30-21 midway through the opening half and kept right on rolling. The two-time defending regional champions took a 66-40 lead into the locker room at intermission and Bowie State, which rode a seven-game winning streak into the regional, never threatened again.
Atlantic Region Player of the Year Alex Falk had 20 points to pace a balanced West Liberty attack. Shawn Dyer came off the bench to match Falk with 20 points, while adding seven rebounds and five assists. Chris Morrow chipped in with 19 points, C.J. Hester added 15 and Cedric Harris had 10 points and 5 assists, all in the first half.
The Bulldogs were paced by Byron Westmorland’s 19 points, while Najee White added 13 in a losing cause.