SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio – In the highest scoring game in the history of Murphy Gymnasium, No. 1 West Liberty blew by Notre Dame (Ohio) 125-103 on Thursday night.
Notre Dame held a 31-20 advantage with 11:40 left in the opening half, when West Liberty marched back into the contest by going on a 15-3 run during the next four minutes to take a 35-34 lead with 7:35 to play in the opening stanza.
West Liberty started slowly in the opening half, but caught fire and shot 51.1 percent (24-47) from the floor, while the Falcons also shot well in the opening stanza, hitting on 52.6 percent (20) of their 38 shots.
The Hilltoppers went into the locker room with a 67-53 lead at the half, and didn't give NDC much of an opportunity to get back within striking distance in the final 20 minutes of the contest.
Seger Bonifant scored a team-high 28 points for West Liberty, which also got 23 from CJ Hester. In all, seven Hilltoppers scored in double figures.
No. 3 Drury 96, Missouri S&T 86
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Cameron Adams scored a career-high 22 points to lead four Panthers in double-figures as Drury defeated Missouri S&T 96-86 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference opener for both schools Thursday night at the O'Reilly Family Event Center.
Kameron Bundy added 17 points, while Sean Osler matched his career-best with 16 points and redshirt freshman Nick Yocum had a career-high 15 points - on 5-of-6 shooting from 3-point range - as the defending national champions reeled off their school-record 29th consecutive victory in moving to 6-0 this season.
The Panthers rolled early to a 25-6 lead and took a 53-28 halftime advantage into the locker room against the Miners (3-4, 0-1). But the second half was a different story, as S&T outscored Drury 58-43 in a game that featured a total of 63 called fouls and 83 attempted free throws.
No. 5 Western Washington 67, Western Oregon 66
BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- Guard Richard Woodworth hit two free throws with 1.9 seconds remaining, lifting Western Washington to a 67-66 triumph against Western Oregon on Thursday in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference opener for both schools at Sam Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.
The Vikings improved to 5-0 with the triumph and extended their school- and GNAC-record home winning streak to 32 games. Guard Robert Harris, Jr., had a game-high 23 points for WWU on 9-of-14 field-goal shooting.
WOU slipped to 4-4. Forward Andy Avgi, playing for the first time since the Wolves' season opener, came off the bench to score 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
WWU seemed to have the game under control, holding a 59-49 lead with 5:29 to play. But WOU scored the next seven points to close the margin to three at 59-56 with 2:31 left, and eventually pulled to within one 61-60 on a Rodney Webster layup with 1:24 to go.
Each team scored on its next two possessions, but WWU's Joey Schreiber missed two free throws with 19.9 seconds left, and Avgi converted a putback with 6.0 seconds to go to give WOU a 66-65 advantage.
No. 8 Findlay 88, Lake Superior State 78
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. -- Findlay captured an 88-78 victory against Lake Superior State on Thursday. The victory gives the Oilers a 4-0 record on the season with a 1-0 mark in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
The Oilers shot 54.5 percent (30-of-55) from the floor and canned 8-of-19 (42.1%) shot attempts from behind the three point line. They also forced 16 turnovers and dished out 22 assists in the win.
Senior forward Greg Kahlig led the way with 28 points on 8-of-14 shooting. He also drained 3-of-5 shot attempts from three point land and connected on 9-of-13 attempts from the charity stripe.