Hot-Shooting Hilltoppers Blow Away Urbana - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Hot-Shooting Hilltoppers Blow Away Urbana

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Shawn Dyer scored a career-high 31 points and West Liberty shot a blistering 61 percent from the floor as the unbeaten and No. 1-ranked Hilltoppers sprinted away to a 108-83 victory against Urbana at the ASRC.

West Liberty (7-0, 4-0) never trailed in coasting past the Blue Knights (0-8, 0-4), foiling Urbana's strategy of forcing a slower pace with its best shooting performance of the season.

"(Urbana) actually did slow the game down," WLU coach Jim Crutchfield said. "There were probably fewer possessions in this game than any game we've played for a while.

"The key for us was how efficient we were on offense, especially in the first half. Even with the limited possessions, we were still able to put 50 points on the board and take a 20-point halftime lead. It's awfully hard to stick with that strategy when you're down 20."

The Hilltoppers blistered the twine at a 70 percent clip (21-of-30) in the opening half with Dyer canning all 5 of his shots from the floor – including a pair of 3-pointers – while adding a couple of free throws to enter the break with 14 points.

A 48-percent career 3-point shooter, Dyer had made just 2 of his last 11 3-point shots coming into Saturday's game but the 6-0 junior from Marion, Ohio zeroed in early against the Blue Knights.

"It was good to see Shawn get back on track," Crutchfield said, "but it certainly wasn't a surprise. Shawn knows and we know that he's one of several guys who are capable of doing that on any given night. That's one of our strengths as a team."

Trailing 53-33 as the second half got under way, Urbana never seriously threatened. The lead reached 37 points on several occasions midway through the second half as West Liberty breezed to its 56th consecutive home conference victory.

Dyer didn't lack for offensive support as Keene Cockburn added 16 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks while Seger Bonifant chipped in with a dozen points and Devin Hoehn came off the bench with 10. Kelvin Goodwin had 9 points and 6 rebounds while Zak Kirkbride also finished with 9 points as all 12 Hilltoppers hit the scoring column.

The Blue Knights – who used only seven players – had five double-figure scorers with Danny Goins' 25 points leading the way.

West Liberty will be off this week for semester exams and will close out the pre-holiday portion of its schedule on Dec. 17 when the Hilltoppers host Cedarville (Ohio) in a 7:30 p.m. game at the ASRC.