The No. 1-ranked West Liberty University men's basketball team lived up to its preseason billing here Friday night with a 105-66 throttling of Urbana (Ohio) in a mutual season opener at Cedarville University's Don Callan Classic.
Coach Jim Crutchfield's Hilltoppers hit three 3-pointers in the first four minutes to grab their first double-digit lead, 13-2, and put the Blue Knights away for good with a dazzling 27-0 run in the latter stages of the opening half.
That extended surge gave West Liberty a 64-25 lead at intermission and the Hilltoppers coasted the rest of the way.
All 11 West Liberty players saw action in the first half and every one of them had scored by the end of the game. In textbook Hilltopper fashion, seven players hit at least one 3-point shot, and six finished in double-figures but nobody scored more than 18 points or played more than 25 minutes.
Senior All-American Alex Falk and junior All-WVIAC standout Cedric Harris led West Liberty's scoring barrage with 18 points each.
Falk also made his presence felt at the defensive end, drawing four charging fouls and picking up four steals. Harris stuffed his stat sheet with game-highs of 6 assists and 5 steals.
Tim Hausfeld added 13 points and tied Harris for game-high honors with 5 steals while Keene Cockburn chipped in with a dozen points and a game-high 3 blocks. C.J. Hester had 10 points and 7 rebounds, all in the first half.
Chris Morrow added 9 points and a team-high 8 rebounds off the bench while freshman Kelvin "Bubby" Goodwin was in the starting lineup for his first collegiate game and finished with 6 points and 5 assists.
Urbana got a game-high 19 points from Danny Goins.
The Hilltoppers return to action Saturday at 4:30 p.m. when they take on host Cedarville, the defending National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) national champions.