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West Liberty Athletics | January 5, 2014

DII Roundup: West Liberty overcomes 17-point deficit to beat Concord

WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. -- Top-ranked West Liberty roared back from a 17-point first-half deficit to hand upset-minded Concord a 97-92 loss on Saturday afternoon at the ASRC.

Coach Jim Crutchfield's Hilltoppers (9-0, 5-0) took the best shot the Mountain Lions (5-6, 2-3) had to offer in the early going before answering with some pretty good shooters of their own.

Sophomore guards Seger Bonifant and Kelvin Goodwin had a lot to do with that as their shooting from the perimeter fueled the Hilltopper comeback. With Bonifant and Goodwin making 3-pointers the Hilltoppers went on a 23-4 run in the first half.

The Hilltoppers led by as many as 10 points in the second half but were never quite able to put the pesky visitors away as Concord pulled within two points on several occasions down the stretch.

The Mountain Lions cut the gap to 95-92 on a Mike Boyd free throw with 25 seconds left but Shawn Dyer made both ends of a 1-and-1 to restore the Hilltoppers' five-point lead and rebounded a missed Concord 3-pointer at the other end to put the game on ice.

Bonifant led all scorers with 26 points while pulling down nine rebounds. Goodwin backed him with 17 points while C.J. Hester added 15 points and eight boards. Cedric Harris and Keene Cockburn rounded out the double-figure scorers with 13 and 10 points, respectively.

Terry Hopewell's double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds paced four double-figure scorers for Concord.

No. 4 Florida Southern 95, No. 25 Barry 79

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Fourth-ranked Florida Southern opened the home portion of its Sunshine State Conference schedule on Saturday evening by posting a 95-79 victory against No. 25 Barry in front of a little more than 1,000 fans at Jenkins Field House.

Saturday's game was a battle between two of the 15 remaining undefeated teams in Division II as the Moccasins entered the game with a 13-0 record, while Barry was sporting a 9-0 mark.

The victory helped the Mocs improve to 13-0 overall and 2-0 in the SSC on the season and extend its homecourt win streak to 12 consecutive games and its SSC win streak to four. Barry suffered its first loss of the season and fell to 9-1 overall and 1-1 in the SSC.

FSC, who is now 2-0 this season against ranked opponents and has won 14 games against ranked foes since the beginning of the 2007-08 season, has now opened the season 13-0 for the eighth time in school history and first time since the 2009-10 squad opened the season by winning its first 13 games. The best start to a season in school history is 18-0, which was set by the 1999-00 squad that finished the year with a 32-2 record and advanced to the Division II quarterfinals.

No. 5 Metro State 93, Western New Mexico 54

SILVER CITY, N.M. -- Fifth-ranked Metro State cruised to a 93-54 win at Western New Mexico on Saturday for its seventh consecutive win. The Roadrunners improved to 10-1 overall and 7-0 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, while the Mustangs dropped to 1-10 and 1-7.

Mitch McCarron led a balanced effort from the Roadrunners, scoring a game-high 16 points on 6 of 8 shooting with six rebounds and five assists. Brandon Jefferson buried three 3-pointers and scored 13 points, while bench players Raul Delgado (13 points), Jourdon Hunter (10) and Harrison Goodrick (10) all reached double figures in scoring. Nicholas Kay added nine points and a game-high seven rebounds.

Jefferson and Kay each had five steals and Delgado had three to go with five assists. Metro State forced 27 turnovers, while committing just 11. The 27 turnovers forced were the most since 2009.

Metro State also shot a season-high 52.1 percent and buried 12 of 28 (.421) from the outside, the most 3-pointers since hitting 13 against Colorado Christian in 2009.

The Roadrunners led by as many as 41 points in the second half.

No. 6 Indiana (Pa.) 70, Lock Haven 64

LOCK HAVEN, Pa. -- Trailing heading into halftime for the first time all season, the nation's sixth-ranked team mounted a second-half comeback to defeat Lock Haven 70-64.

The Crimson Hawks scored 46 points in the second half, compared to just 24 in the first, led by Marcel Souberbielle who finished the game with 26 points, 19 of which he scored in the second.

Souberbielle finished the game with 26 points in addition to nine rebounds, three assists and two steals. He is just 57 points away from 1,000 on his career.

Devante Chance was the only other Crimson Hawk to record double-digit scoring numbers, finishing with 13 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals. Mathis Keita finished with seven points, six rebounds, three assists, one block and one steal and Jeremy Jeffers added seven points and three rebounds.

No. 7 Dixie State 87, Chaminade 86

HONOLULU -- DeQuan Thompson and Dalton Groskreutz each had 18 points at halftime setting the scene at McCabe Gymnasium for two career bests in scoring. The duo combined for 49 points on Saturday night as Dixie State defeated Chaminade 87-86 in a Pacific West Conference contest.

The game came down to the final moments after the Red Storm (11-0/5-0 PacWest) surrendered a 12-point lead midway through the second half. Tied at 83-83, Thompson followed two misses with a tip-in to notch his 25th point and give DSU a lead it would not relinquish. Zach Robbins blocked a short shot from Kuany Kuany on the ensuing Chaminade (5-6/1-2 PacWest) possession. Kimball Payne found Robbins for a left-handed lay-in after he noticed a Silversword defender slip to the floor.

Christophe Varidel, in his first action since the Maui Invitational in November, buried a long 3-point basket to cut Dixie's lead to 87-86. Payne drew a foul on the inbound and missed the subsequent free throw to give Chaminade a last chance. The outlet pass from Kiran Shastri found Lee Bailey (27 points), but his foot slipped on the sideline for a turnover. DSU inbounded the ball to run out the clock.

The dramatics were not exclusive to the late part of the game. Dixie State opened on a 6-0 run – an opening Groskreutz 3-pointer, a Thompson lay-in and one Robbins free throw. Bailey responded with three consecutive triples for a 9-6 advantage. Varidel bumped the lead to 33-27 with two charity shots at the 7:02 mark.

Dixie State responded with an 11-0 spurt capped with two Groskreutz jumpers and a Mason Sawyer 3-pointer. The Storm held off Chaminade to lead 50-46 at the break.

No. 9 Tarleton State 19, South Dakota Mines 68

STEPHENVILLE, Texas -- The Tarleton State Texans extended their best start to a season to 11-0 with a 79-68 non-conference win against South Dakota Mines on Saturday night at Wisdom Gym in Stephenville.

The Texans extended their win streak to 16 consecutive games at Wisdom Gym as well and have also won 16 consecutive contests against non-conference foes dating back to last season. The Hardrockers, meanwhile, dropped to 5-11 overall and fall to 0-1 all-time against the Texans.

Chuck Guy paced the Texan offense with a game-high 19 points while going a perfect 10-for-10 from the free-throw line and extending his streak to 30 consecutive shots made from the charity stripe.

De'Andre Upchurch poured in 15 points and Tashawn Mabry added 12 points off the bench for the Texans. Michael Hardge tied a career high with 10 points off the bench as well and the Texans finished the game shooting 51.0 percent from the field.

Tarleton has shot better than 85 percent from the free-throw line as a team in three consecutive games after finishing Saturday's game with an 88.5 percent (23-for-26) from the charity stripe.

No. 10 East Stroudsburg 101, Clarion 69

EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. -- Tenth-ranked East Stroudsburg made 15 3-pointers, its most in 12 seasons under head coach Jeff Wilson, and matched its best start in program history at 13-0 with a 101-69 win against Clarion on Saturday at Koehler Fieldhouse.

Redshirt junior guard Will Brown (four 3-pointers) led ESU with a season-high 17 points and was one of five Warriors to hit at least two 3s. Sophomore guard Jamal Nwaniemeka scored 13 points after going for 25 in a 75-60 win against Gannon on Friday.

The Warriors matched the 2009-10 team with their unbeaten start, and will have the opportunity to break that mark – and match the single-season record for a winning streak – when they travel to Pittsburgh-Johnstown on Wednesday to close the non-conference schedule.

ESU extended its home non-conference winning streak to 38 games, which dates to Nov. 27, 2007 and will continue into the 2014-15 season.