Top ranked West Liberty stops Shaw
Atlantic Region Player of the Year Corey Pelle led four double-figure scorers with 23 points and senior pivot John Wolosinczuk hit a back-breaking 3-point bomb with less than 90 seconds remaining as unbeaten and No. 1-ranked West Liberty held off a determined Shaw squad in a regional semifinal thriller.
The Hilltoppers will host defending regional champion and No. 2 seed Indiana (Pa.) Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Atlantic Region championship game with the winner advancing to next week’s NCAA Division II Elite Eight at Springfield, Mass.
West Liberty led throughout the second half but weren’t able to put the hot-shooting Bears away until Wolosinczuk’s clutch 3-pointer pushed the Hilltoppers out to a 92-86 lead with 1:25 to play.
Barry Shetzer then came up with a steal and hit a streaking Alex Falk for a runout layup that finally put the game out of reach, 94-86, heading into the final minute.
Pelle finished with 23 points and 6 assists while Wolosinczuk and Falk each donated 20 points to the winning cause. Wolosinczuk also contributed 9 rebounds, 4 blocked shots and 4 assists.
Shetzer rounded out West Liberty’s double-figure scorers with 12 points to go along with 8 rebounds, 3 assists and a pair of steals.
Shaw – which shot a sizzling 61 percent (40-of-65) from the floor for the game – was paced by Raheem Smith’s 36 points. Tony Smith added 20 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists in a losing cause.