INSTITUTE, W.Va. -- Top-ranked West Liberty took control early and was never threatened in coasting to a 105-85 win at West Virginia State on Monday night.
Coach Jim Crutchfield’s Hilltoppers (18-1, 14-1) used a 15-2 blitz in a two-minute span to take a 27-12 lead with 13:30 still showing on the first-half clock and the Yellowjackets (7-12, 4-12) never got the margin into single digits again.
West Liberty pushed the lead to 20 points, 36-16, at the 10-minute mark and led by as many as 29 points before settling for a 61-34 bulge at intermission.
The lead reached 35 points, 89-54, on a Cedric Harris jumper with 10:19 remaining before the Hilltoppers -- playing the first of three road games this week -- shifted into cruise control.
West Liberty shot better than 50 percent from the floor (42 of 78, 54 percent) and from the 3-point arc (14 of 25, 56 percent) while forcing 20 turnovers and dominating the backboards by a 41-31 margin. Nearly half (18) of those 41 rebounds came on the offensive glass as the Hilltoppers posted a whopping 26-4 edge in second-chance points.
Freshman Devin Hoehn drained four 3-pointers in the game’s first five minutes and finished with a WLU season-high seven on nine shots to total 21 points. Harris led all scorers with 28 points while handing out five assists and collecting three steals.
Shawn Dyer came off the bench with 18 points, five rebounds and a game-high six assists. Keene Cockburn rounded out the double-figure scorers with 12 points to go along with a season-high five blocked shots.
Anton Hutchins scored 21 points to pace West Virginia State.