BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – Another men’s basketball championship and strong showings in several other sports propelled the West Liberty University athletic department to another high finish on Monday when the 2019-20 Mountain East Conference Commissioner’s Cup results were released.
Due to the cancellation of all spring sports due to COVID-19, the MEC was able to crown champions in just 15 of its 23 sports. Acknowledging that fact, the league announced that the 2019-20 season will be denoted with an asterisk in the conference record books.
Schools were ranked according to an “All-Sports Rating” formula developed by the league to recognize overall athletic excellence among its members. Institutions earn points for their regular season finish in an MEC-sponsored sport equal to the number of teams participating in that sport. That number is then divided by the total number of sports offered by the institution to arrive at the final rating. Charleston finished No. 1 in the final rankings with an .833 All-Sports Rating followed by Notre Dame at .722. Fairmont State barely squeezed past the Hilltoppers for third place as the formula put the Falcons at .572, just ahead of WLU’s .557 rating. Davis and Elkins rounded out the top five at .545.
Coach Ben Howlett’s men’s basketball team once again led the way for the West Liberty athletic department. The high-flying Hilltoppers rolled to their third straight MEC championship and swept their way to an MEC Tournament title – the first MEC team ever to pull that off in the same season. West Liberty also led the nation in scoring for the 12th time in the past 15 seasons.
The men’s basketball team wasn’t the only Black and Gold squad finding success during the abbreviated 2019-20 season. Coach Justin Simpson’s women’s cross country team was runner-up in the MEC Championships while the men’s indoor track team took third place in the inaugural MEC Indoor Championships. Coach Danny Irwin’s wrestling team also took runner-up honors in the MEC’s first-ever wrestling championship, hosted by West Liberty.
The loss of the spring sports season may have prevented the Hilltoppers from making an even stronger run at the top. The defending MEC champion West Liberty softball team had been picked to win it all again by the league coaches while the Hilltoppers’ Acrobatics & Tumbling squad was projected for a second-place finish in the pre-season balloting.
MOUNTAIN EAST CONFERENCE
2019-20 Commissioner’s Cup
School Sports Pts. Poss. ASR
1. Charleston 12 105.0 126 0.833
2. Notre Dame 11 76.5 106 0.722
3. Fairmont State 12 67.5 118 0.572
4. WEST LIBERTY 12 73.5 132 0.557
5. Davis & Elkins 14 73.0 134 0.545
6. Wheeling 11 62.5 116 0.539
7. Concord 12 67.0 126 0.532
8. W.Va. Wesleyan 14 70.0 139 0.504
9. Glenville State 11 54.5 117 0.466
10. Urbana 13 57.5 127 0.453
11. W.Va. State 6 36.0 88 0.409
12. Frostburg State 12 40.0 119 0.336