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basketball-men-d2 flag | February 21, 2014

Top 25: Sixth-ranked West Liberty holds West Virginia Wesleyan to a low point in victory

WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. -- Sixth-ranked West Liberty held West Virginia Wesleyan to just 20 first-half points Thursday night en route to a 77-61 victory at a jam-packed ASRC.

The Bobcats (17-10, 12-7), who entered the game tied for second place in the Mountain East Conference, ran the shot clock down to single digits on nearly every possession in an attempt to corral the nation's highest-scoring team but coach Jim Crutchfield's Hilltoppers (22-2, 18-1) were unfazed.

Locking down on the defensive end, West Liberty – which clinched the MEC championship a week ago -- held the Bobcats to just two field goals in the game's first 15 minutes and never trailed en route to the Hilltoppers' 150th win in the past five seasons.

Wesleyan was able to keep things close at the foul line in the early going and trailed just 10-8 after a pair of T.J. Thompson free throws with 13:01 on the clock.

The Hilltoppers reeled off a 16-1 surge in the next 8 minutes with a Cedric Harris jumper pushing the lead to 26-9 at the 5:21 mark. West Liberty held the Bobcats to 0-for-8 shooting from the floor and forced five turnovers during the decisive run.

The Black and Gold settled for a 33-20 halftime lead and led by as many as 19 points at several junctures during the second half.

Thompson hit three consecutive 3-pointers to spark the Bobcats' only second-half challenge, trimming the deficit to 55-46 with 8:57 remaining, but West Liberty scored on its next three possessions to go up 61-46 as the clock ticked past the 7-minute mark and Wesleyan never threatened again.

Harris led all scorers with a season-high 29 points. The senior standout also tied a career-high with six steals and handed out a team-high four assists.

Keene Cockburn backed Harris with 11 points and a game-high 11 rebounds and Seger Bonifant added nine points off the bench.

Thompson's 20 points paced the Bobcats, who also got 18 points from Brett Ervin on 6-for-10 shooting from the 3-point arc.

William Jewell 65, No. 2 Drury 60

LIBERTY, Mo. -- Second-ranked Drury saw its 11-game winning streak snapped with a 65-60 loss at William Jewell in Great Lakes Valley Conference play Thursday night at the Mabee Center.

The Panthers, playing without leading scorer and reigning GLVC Player of the Week Kameron Bundy (concussion), fell to 22-2 overall and 14-2 in the league and took a severe hit to their No. 1 ranking in the Midwest Region that came out a day earlier.

Jewell, which lost 79-56 to the Panthers at the O'Reilly Center on January 18, improved to 11-13 and 7-9.

The Panthers, in losing for just the second time in the past 406 days (covering 47 games), turned it over 18 times to just seven by William Jewell, which helped the Cardinals overcome a 37-percent shooting night (19 of 52).

Drury made 22 of 52 shots (42 percent), struggling again from the 3-point line (6 of 22).

Drury had 35 rebounds to 33 by the Cardinals, but Jewell came up with 12 offensive rebounds.

Cameron Adams hit 8 of 10 shots and led the Panthers with 19 points, while Lonnie Boga added 14 points and Nick Yocum had 13 points (including three 3-pointers) off the bench.

D'Vante Mosby led Jewell with 14 points and 11 rebounds while Dwight Sistrunk had 12 points and five assists.

No. 4 Indianapolis 92, No. 20 Southern Indiana 67

INDIANAPOLIS -- Up by 10 points with 8 minutes to go, fourth-ranked Indianapolis (22-2, 14-2 GLVC) orchestrated a game-clinching 19-5 run to seal a 92-67 win versus 20th-ranked and visiting Southern Indiana on Thursday night. Junior Joe Lawson complied 25 points and 10 rebounds while senior Tyrae Robinson added 18 points, eight assists and six boards in the Greyhounds' 10th consecutive victory.

In addition to pushing the Hounds' win streak to double digits, the victory also avenged the last defeat suffered by the Hounds. More significantly, it marked the 81st win for UIndy since 2010, setting a program record for victories in a four-year period.
After USI shot a staggering 44 free throws in the teams' first meeting Jan. 18, the Hounds turned the tables on the Screaming Eagles on Thursday, as UIndy earned 41 trips to line compared to just 15 by USI (19-5, 11-5).

Lawson notched his fifth double-double of the year and third in his past six games. Robinson, meanwhile, recorded his second consecutive contest with eight dimes and just one turnover.

Three other Greyhounds finished in double figures, including Jared Grady (14 points), Brennan McElroy (12) and Reece Cheatham (11). McElroy added eight boards and three steals.

Aaron Nelson recorded a USI-record 19th double-double of the year with 14 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out. Nelson was joined on top of the USI scoring column by Orlando Rutledge, who also dropped in 14 points. Nelson and Rutledge were joined in double-figure scoring by Lawrence Thomas, who had 11 points, and Gavin Schumann, who dropped in 10 points.