GLENVILLE, W.Va. – No. 25-ranked West Liberty scored 15 of the game’s first 21 points and spent the rest of the night pulling away to a 111-80 victory against Glenville State here Wednesday at the Waco Center.
Coach Ben Howlett’s Hilltoppers (19-4, 14-3) took another step closer to a third consecutive Mountain East Conference title by completing the season sweep of the Pioneers (13-10, 10-7).
The victory preserved the Black and Gold’s two-game lead over their closest pursuers in the MEC chase – Charleston and Fairmont State – with only five games remaining in the regular season.
West Liberty led by as many as 13 points in the first half on Wednesday but Glenville managed to stay within range by draining 11 3-point field goals in the first 20 minutes and trailed just 52-43 at the break.
The second half was all Hilltoppers, however, as WLU pushed the lead past the 20-point mark less than eight minutes into the period and never looked back.
Junior guard Dalton Bolon scored 28 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and knocked down 6 3-point field goals – all game-highs – to lead the visitors. Bolon’s six bonus bombs moved him up to No. 4 on WLU’s all-time list with 264 career 3-pointers.
Sophomore wing Will Yoakum also had a huge night, pouring in 25 points on a sizzling 11-of-14 shooting from the floor while adding 6 rebounds and a career-high 5 steals. All but eight of Yoakum’s 25 points came during the Hilltoppers’ runaway second half.
Pat Robinson added 16 points while Bryce Butler and Marlon Moore Jr. rounded out the double-figure scorers with 14 points each.
West Liberty shot 55 percent (41-of-74) from the floor and 47 percent (14-of-30) from the 3-point arc on the night while forcing 16 turnovers and amassing a 43-32 edge off the glass.
Hegel Augustin and Steven Verplancken topped Glenville on the night with 22 and 19 points, respectively.
The Hilltoppers will be back in the friendly confines of the ASRC on Saturday afternoon for a 4 p.m. game against Concord.