WLU Men’s Basketball wins their fourth game of the season

The West Liberty (WLU) men’s basketball is continuing their hot streak to open the season, as they now have won their first four games of the year, posting a 4-0 record in the process.

Previously, West Lib opened the season with 104-82 win against Winston Salem State University. This win served as the 100th career win for Head Coach Ben Howlett, which is even more impressive considering this milestone was reached in only 118 games. West Liberty came out of the locker room with a mission on their minds, and began the game hot, taking a 14-4 lead into the first media timeout. This streak continued, as the lead was extended to as many as 23 nearing the conclusion of the first half, as the first half score eventually was capped at a 52-35 advantage for West Liberty, Winston Salem seemingly had no response, and West Liberty closed the game with style. Hilltopper star Pat Robinson III (22 points, 9-19 FG), led the way and muscled his team over a hump for the opening night victory, while supporting cast members Bryce Butler (14 points, 4-9 FG), and Malik Mckinney (14 points, 4-7 FG) also helped West Liberty prevail.

The black and gold picked up their second win in as many days with a 108-93 final against East Stroudsburg, improving their record to an attractive 2-0. East Stroudsburg, who went 20-9 last season and fell to Indiana University of Pennsylvania in the semi-finals of the PSAC Tournament, initially gave WLU some trouble out of the gate, converting on their first several shots and extending a lead to as much as 13-5 nearing the end of the first. However, this volume soon saw a downwards trend, and West Liberty was able to recover from their difficult tracking out of the gate. Robinson once again led the Hilltoppers in scoring with high value efficiency, masking 30 points on 10-15 shooting. The next duo of contributors were Butler with 18 points on 7-12 shooting, and Zach Rasile, who exploded for the first time this year with 16 points on 6-9 shooting.

The momentum was continued on against the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, a team in which appeared as an early season test to the Hilltoppers, coming into the game 2-0 likewise of their competitor. Admittingly, the Mountain Cats gave West Liberty some trouble early on, with each team exchanging blows. At half, West Liberty only led by a single bucket, holding an advantage of 48-46. The exchange of punches continued on for most of the second half as well, that is, until West Liberty went on a 21-5 run to ice the game, holding a lead as many as 18 at one point. West Liberty successfully prevailed to 3-0 with a final score of 95-83. Familiar face Pat Robinson led the team in scoring once again with 21 points, followed by Malik McKinney’s 19 points and Bryce Butler’s 17 points.

The first women and men basketball double header went fantastic for West Liberty, as both programs were able to rout Alderson Broaddus University this past Saturday afternoon. Alderson Broaddus, coming into the contest with a 2-1 record, struggled mightily with West Liberty’s high volume play and tempo. West Liberty was able to get out to a very early lead, and seemingly ran away with it uncontested, taking the advantage of 59-33 into half. They continued their dominance, capping off their fourth straight victory with a 100-70 final. Butler led the team in points with 19, followed by Robinson’s 16, and Marlon Moore’s 13 points.

For the next two games, the Hilltoppers travel to Notre Dame College (Ohio) on Nov. 23 then are back home for their contest against Daemen College (N.Y.) on Nov. 29.

For more information on the men’s basketball team visit hilltoppersports.com.