After building a double-digit halftime lead, the No. 10-ranked West Liberty University men’s basketball team opened the second half on an 18-3 run and went on to pummel Notre Dame, 108-74, Thursday night at Murphy Gymnasium.
Coach Jim Crutchfield’s Hilltoppers (16-2, 11-2) led by as many as 15 points for much of the first half before settling for a 49-38 advantage at intermission against the Falcons (10-9, 6-7) but the Black and Gold found another gear when play resumed.
With MEC scoring leader Seger Bonifant pouring in 13 of his game-high 27 points, West Liberty scored 18 of the first 21 points of the second half to take an insurmountable 69-43 lead with 15:22 still to play.
Substituting liberally throughout the contest, the Hilltoppers led by as many as 35 points down the stretch in cracking the century mark for the 12th time in 18 games this season.
Bonifant received plenty of support in a balanced WLU attack as Devin Hoehn popped in 17 points while C.J. Hester added 15 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. Zac Grossenbacher had another strong game off the bench with 13 points and 8 rebounds while Indiana Faithfull finished with 10 points and a team-high 5 assists.
Lawrence DeArmond’s 21 points paced four double-digit scorers for Notre Dame.
West Liberty faces a tough road test on Saturday when the Hilltoppers head to Charleston for a 4 p.m. game against MEC challenger Charleston.
X Thursday’s win completed a sweep of the season series for West Liberty. WLU had hammered the Falcons, 120-85 in a first-semester meeting at the ASRC
X The Hilltoppers improved to a near-perfect 88-1 over the past six seasons when holding their opponents under 80 points
X West Liberty is now 165-9 under Jim Crutchfield when scoring 100 or more points and has won 70 straight when cracking the century mark
X With 1,658 points, C.J. Hester is just 5 points away from tying 2014 All-American Cedric Harris and current WLU assistant Ben Howlett for 12th place on the school’s career scoring list
X Bonifant needs just 5 more 3-pointers to tie Tim Hausfeld for 5th place on West Liberty’s list of 3-point leaders with 228