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Saturday, March 16, 2013


WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. – Top-seeded and No. 1-ranked West Liberty (31-1) sprinted out to a 26-point halftime lead and never looked back in breezing to an Atlantic Region quarterfinal win against CIAA Tournament champion Bowie State (16-14).

“Tonight we ran up against a team that’s No. 1 in the country for a reason and they were the best offensive team we’ve played in my four years at Bowie State”, said head coach Darrell Brooks. “What they do they do it well!”

Senior Byron Westmorland scored a team-high 19 points and fellow senior Najee White added 13 points to pace the Bulldogs. Westmorland and White also led the team in rebounds with five and four respectively.

Bowie State junior Ray Gatling handed out a team-high four assists and fellow junior Carlos Smith swatted away a game-high three shots. As a team, Bowie State out-rebounded West Liberty 34-33.

Bowie State held a 21-20 lead at the 12:30 mark of the first half only to have West Liberty go on a 12-0 run. From that point, the offense of the top team in the country came alive.

The West Liberty Hilltoppers exploded to take a comfortable 66-41 lead into halftime on 21-of-32 shooting from the floor (66 percent), which included a blistering 7-of-10 beyond the arc.

In contrast, the Bulldogs were 15-of-35 (43 percent) from the field and Bowie State committed 14 turnovers in the first 20 minutes.

The Hilltoppers, who shot a sizzling 67 percent (40-of-60) from the floor on the night, used a 12-0 run to take the lead for good, 30-21, midway through the opening half and kept right on rolling.

When asked about the Hilltoppers run, Brooks said, “We kind of got away from what we doing up to that point … If you get caught up in playing at their pace, they’re much better at than you are.”

Atlantic Region Player of the Year Alex Falk had 20 points to pace a balanced West Liberty attack. Shawn Dyer came off the bench to match Falk with 20 points while adding 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Chris Morrow chipped in with 19 points, C.J. Hester added 15 and Cedric Harris had 10 points and 5 assists, all in the first half.

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