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M. Basketball Game Recap

#1 West Liberty flexes its muscles in rout of Point Park men, 136-84

Nov. 26, 2012 at 9:30 p.m. ET

Babatunde Somoye had 20 points and 11 rebounds in Monday's loss. Photo by Olivia DiYanni.


WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. -- West Liberty University, the No. 1-ranked team in NCAA Division II, used a deep roster of scorers to rout Point Park University, 136-84, in a non-conference men's basketball game Monday night.

West Liberty (5-0) led by 20 at halftime, 67-47, and took advantage of a short Point Park bench to wear down the Pioneers (5-2, 1-0 KIAC) in the second half.

Point Park had its three-game winning streak stopped but hung in there the first half. West Liberty, which has all five starters returning from last year's team that was 32-3 and played in the NCAA DII Elite 8, started hitting from the outside to put the game out of reach.

Jimmy Taylor, who led Point Park with 22 points off the bench, came in to hit a couple of treys to cut the West Liberty lead to 22-21 with 12:11 left in the first half. The Hilltoppers opened the game on a 15-5 run, but the lead was trimmed with Taylor and Matt Noszka each hitting a couple of outside shots.

But West Liberty quickly went on a 12-2 that took barely over two minutes to go up, 34-23. The Hilltoppers kept pushing the pace, and their 20-point halftime lead came after they attempted 57 fields the first 20 minutes. WLU made 10 more baskets and attempted 13 more shots than Point Park the first half.

West Liberty, which made 17 treys for the game, was 10 for 22 from long range the second half to extend things further. Like they did in the first half, the Hilltoppers opened the half on a 15-5 run the first five minutes for an 82-53 advantage.

West Liberty built a 100-72 lead on Chris Morrow's 3-pointer with 8:12 left. The score went from a 28-point game to a 52-point final margin as a tired Point Park team made only four fields the last eight minutes.

Point Park used only seven players and had only six available who had seen any significant playing time before Monday night. West Liberty, on the other hand, gave plenty of playing time to all 12 of its players. All 12 made a field goal, and 10 of them had an assist.

Point Park's 6-9 center, Babatunde Somoye put up 20 points and 11 rebounds to register his third double-double in seven games. The London, England, native was 8 of 13 from the field and also blocked four shots. Point guard T.J. Heatherington totaled 17 points and five rebounds. Matt Noszka had 11 points with nine coming the first half.

Point Park shot only 38 percent (32 of 84) for the game compared to 52 percent (56 of 107) for West Liberty. Point Park shot just 35 percent (14 of 40) the second half, and that included just 1 for 15 from 3-point range. With the Pioneers' shots not falling on tired legs, West Liberty took care of most of the rebounds with a 66-41 edge on the glass.

Of the Hilltoppers 107 total field goal attempts, 44 came from outside the arc. West Liberty shot 39 percent (17 of 44) from long range with Morrow leading the way at 4 for 10. Morrow led six players in double figures with 22 followed by Seger Bonifant with 21 points on 5 of 9 from distance. Guard Cedric Harris had 21 points and 11 assists.

Point Park will play another ranked opponent in its next game when it visits NAIA Division II No. 6 IU Southeast (5-2) on Friday. It is the first game of a two-game swing in the KIAC that also includes a trip to Brescia (Ky.) on Saturday.

Notes: In Friday's doubleheader at IU Southeast, the men's game will be first at 5 p.m. followed by the women's game at 7 p.m...Saturday's games at Brescia are in the Central Time Zone, the only KIAC school that's an hour behind. The men's game will tip off at 3 p.m. CT (4 p.m. ET)...WLU now leads the all-time series over PPU, 15-20.

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