(WTRF)–The No. 5 ranked West Liberty Hilltopper punched their ticket to the NCAA Atlantic Region Division II Men’s Basketball Championship. 

On Sunday they went to war against No. 3 Mercyhurst in the semifinals. 

Christian Montague put up 9 points for the Hilltoppers in the first half.

The biggest gap the Lakers had on the Hilltoppers was 10 points.

At halftime West Liberty led 37-34.

Two-time Athletic Region Player of the Year Bryce Butler led the Hilltoppers with 19 total points and 6 rebounds. 

The Hilltoppers defeat the Lakers 86-72.

West Liberty advances to the championship (Sweet 16) where they will face No.1 IUP on Tuesday at 7 p.m.  

This is the Hilltoppers 10th appearance in the regional final and they last won in 2021.