West Liberty stormed back from a 13-point deficit and held off a late Wheeling Jesuit surge Thursday night to pull out a 68-67 victory in Mountain East Conference women's basketball action at the McDonough Center.
Flowers scored 17 of her game-high 24 points after intermission to fuel
the comeback as Coach Lynn Ullom's Lady Hilltoppers (9-8, 6-5) won
their 15th consecutive game against their Ohio County rivals.
15th straight win didn't come easily, however, as a fired-up Wheeling
Jesuit (7-8, 4-7) squad led for most of the first 30 minutes.
Cardinals reeled off an 18-4 run over a 10-minute span midway through
the opening half to take their largest lead of the night, 27-14, and
coasted into halftime with a 33-26 lead.
hoops by WJU's Jaana Morton pushed the count to 50-41 with just over 11
minutes to go but just as the hosts seemed on the verge of putting the
game on ice, the Lady Hilltoppers caught fire.
didn't play very well at all tonight," Ullom said, "but midway through
the second half, we got a couple of stops and were able to get the game
going up and down. That really seemed to work in our favor."
gave the visitors their first lead of the second half, 52-51, when she
capped an 11-1 run with a conventional 3-point play at the 7:48 mark.
Jesuit battled back to a 55-55 tie on a rebound hoop by Morton but
another 3-point play by Flowers put WLU ahead to stay, 58-55, with 6:04 to go.
West Liberty pushed the advantage out to 66-58 on a Colleen McCormick free throw with 2:08 to go but the Cardinals weren't finished yet.
pair of free throws by Kylie Frizell pulled the hosts within a single
point, 66-65, with 26 seconds on the clock but Flowers answered with a
pair of charity tosses of her own to restore the 3-point lead.
the final seconds ticking down, Wheeling Jesuit shot an airball on a
desperation 3-point attempt and West Liberty took over with 4 ticks
Butler stole the inbounds pass and laid it in to make it 68-67 but the
Hilltoppers successfully got the ball in following Butler's basket and
though we played pretty poorly in just about every facet of the game
tonight, we still found a way to win," Ullom said. "I'll take an ugly
win over a pretty loss any day of the week."
Wheeling Central teammates Emily Bucon and Colleen McCormick had strong
games off the bench for the Hilltoppers. Bucon finished with 11 points
and 3 assists while McCormick added 7 points and tied Bucon for
rebounding honors with a game-high 7 retrieves.
has really been coming on and I thought Colleen was huge for us down
the stretch when Kiki (Simpson) got in foul trouble," Ullom said.
Simpson, the MEC's leading rebounder, was limited to 8 points and 6
rebounds in just 22 minutes of action.
Jaila Bryant's 17 points paced WJU, which also got 16 points from Motton and 13 from Taneka Lewis.
The West Liberty women head to Urbana on Saturday for a 1 p.m. game.