FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Senior point guard Audrey Tingle stuffed the stat sheet as the West Liberty University women’s basketball team knocked off Fairmont State, 70-60, here Thursday night at Joe Retton Arena.
Coach Kyle Cooper’s Hilltoppers (1-2) opened up a double-digit lead early in the second half and the debuting Falcons never got the margin under 8 points the rest of the way.
Tingle not only tossed in a team-high 19 points while running the Black and Gold offense from the point, the 5-6 senior grabbed 15 rebounds and handed out 7 assists – both game-highs – while also being credited with 4 blocked shots.
West Liberty held Fairmont State scoreless for the first four minutes while jetting out to an 11-0 lead.
The Falcons battled back to close the gap to 16-14 at the end of the first quarter and even took a 21-18 lead on a Sierra Kotchman 3-pointer at 8:14 of the second quarter but it proved short-lived.
Tingle answered almost immediately with a driving layup and a Grace Faulk 3-pointer put WLU ahead to stay, 23-21, as the visitors stepped on the gas.
Four minutes later, Faulk cashed in a short jumper to extend the lead to 32-21, closing out a 14-0 West Liberty surge.
The lead shrank to 34-29 at intermission but Tingle opened the second half with a conventional 3-point play and Olivia Belknap followed with a 3-point bomb, restoring the double-digit margin at 40-29, and West Liberty coasted home.
Faulk backed Tingle in the scoring column with a dozen points while Belknap finished with 11 points and 8 rebounds. Arriana Manzay hit double figures with 10 points and cleared 6 boards as WLU claimed a 54-39 edge off the glass.
Sierra Kotchman led all scorers for Fairmont State with 30 points.
The Lady Hilltoppers return home to host Frostburg State on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. at the ASRC.