Women’s Basketball rolls into March with pair of dominant victories

For the first time since the 2018-19 season, the West Liberty University (WLU) Women’s Basketball team has eclipsed a 20 win season. As of Feb. 26, 2022, West Liberty sits at 20-8, as the team successfully captured the #3 seed in the Mountain East Conference Tournament, only behind the University of Charleston, who made the NCAA Division II Elite Eight last year, and Glenville State University, who remains undefeated as the top team in all of Division II. It was an incredibly tough journey for the youthful Hilltoppers squad, but one in which they proved their spot at the top of the conference.

The WLU Women’s Basketball team is arguably playing their best basketball of the season. Many could say that their midseason winning stretch helped propel them to where they are now, in which they would be correct, but their current four game winning streak has opened the eyes of many in regards to what this team may be capable of during the month of March. Their most recent wins have come against Notre Dame College (Ohio), and Wheeling University, and were games that featured fast paced scoring, great defensive efforts and the rewriting of history.

Their matchup against Notre Dame College (Ohio) was marked as senior night for the Lady Hilltoppers, as graduate students Molly Bauer and Audrey Tingle were honored. For Bauer, the 6’4 forward is second in the conference for blocked shots, consistently establishing her presence in the paint. For Tingle, the 5’6 guard was able to rewrite the history books on an incredibly special night.

The Hilltoppers absolutely routed the Falcons on their home floor, winning by the final of 112-78. The offense of the black and gold had been firing all night, but especially during the second and third quarters, putting up totals of 30 and 35 points. Karly McCutcheon led the way in scoring, having yet another career night with 27 points on a staggering nine made 3PT’s. After this, it was Audrey Tingle’s 20PT-11A-10REB triple-double which broke the record for the most in a single season in NCAA Division II history.

Amazingly enough, Tingle did not stop there, and proceeded to find herself in the record books against Wheeling University. Tingle once again posted a 12PT-10A-15REB triple-double, tying the NCAA Division II record for the most triple-doubles in a career with seven. Tingle led the Hilltoppers to a 82-46 victory over the Cardinals, eclipsing the black and gold to 20 wins on the season. Freshmen star Bailee Smith aided the scoring with 20 points, alongside the red hot McCutcheon with 19 points.

With both West Liberty and Charleston winning on Saturday, West Liberty is now slotted as the third seed in the Mountain East Conference Tournament, where they will take on the sixth ranked Fairmont State University in the MEC Quarterfinals. West Liberty is 2-0 against the Fighting Falcons this season, and looks forward to having an impactful conference tournament run.