Hillary Southworth scored a game-high 27 points and Emily Blevins posted a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds Monday night as the West Liberty University women's basketball team blew past Charleston, 78-59, at the Eddie King Gym.
Coach Lynn Ullom's Hilltoppers (9-4, 7-2) were in complete command by halftime after holding the Golden Eagles (7-7, 4-6) without a field goal for a span of 11:25 while turning an early 7-point deficit into an insurmountable 38-19 lead.
Charleston had taken its largest lead of the night, 18-11, on a Chrissy Keir layup with 14:09 on the clock but that's when the Hilltoppers slammed a lid on the UC basket and set out on a 21-0 surge.
West Liberty went ahead to stay, 19-18, when Southworth finished off a fast break assist from Liz Flowers with 9:08 on the clock and Southworth pushed the margin to 28-18 at 7:28 when she drained a 3-point bomb off another feed from Flowers.
Charleston never got the margin under double-figures the rest of the way but WLU was far from finished as Blevins began to make her presence felt.
The senior post closed out the 21-0 run with back-to-back spin moves in the paint for a 32-18 lead at 5:27. LeAnne Ross broke the UC scoring ice with a free throw at the 5:13 mark but Blevins powered in two more hoops and added a pair of free throws to give West Liberty its largest lead of the first half, 38-19, with 3:30 on the clock.
The Hilltoppers took a 40-25 lead into the locker room at intermission and were never threatened in the second half, leading by as many as 22 points down the stretch.
Meghan Wiseman backed Southworth and Blevins with 13 points and 9 rebounds while Flowers finished with 7 points and a game-high 6 assists. Jordan Stacey stuffed the stat sheet with 3 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 4 blocked shots.
Keir and Tianni Kelly paced Charleston with 11 points each as West Liberty shot 50 percent (33-of-66) from the floor while holding the hosts to just 32 percent (20-of-62) shooting, including 15 percent (2-of-13) from behind the 3-point arc. The Golden Eagles entered the game ranked among the national 3-point leaders, averaging nearly 11 3-pointers a game.
The Hilltoppers return home Thursday to host league-leading Fairmont State. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m. at the ASRC.