West Liberty University’s Men’s basketball tournament final scores and recaps

West Liberty’s men’s Basketball team won the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region Tournament after a 78-61 win against Hillsdale College on Tuesday night that booked their place in the DII Elite Eight.

They came into the tournament as the #3 seed after losing in the MEC Conference Tournament final against Fairmont state 99-102, however wins over Malone University and the University of Charleston meant that the Hilltoppers booked their place in this year’s regional final. Having lost only twice this season, Hillsdale were ranked #1 coming into the tournament following a victory over Mercyhurst University.

This win saw the Toppers back at their best as impressive performances on both sides of the ball secured the win against a very talented and hard working Hillsdale side. Head coach Ben Howlett and his coaching team will be delighted that their players were able to put last week’s MEC disappointment behind them and progress in the national tournament. This tournament gave WLU the chance to play in front of a home crowd for the first time in over a year which was a welcomed bonus that gave the team the additional support they needed after their recent loss.

West Liberty controlled the game from start to finish, leading by as many as 19 points at times during the game. They lead the scoring for almost the entire match with the lead changing over only twice, both occasions occuring in the first quarter. The West Liberty bench outscored that of their opponents by 25 points, with every player playing a key role in securing the win.

MEC player of the year, Dalton Bolon had an impressive game, notching up 22 points and 18 rebounds while All-MEC standout Pat Robinson III recorded 18 points on the night, including his 1000th point as a Hilltopper. Junior forward Marlon Moore Jr. played his most minutes so far this season, putting up a double-double which included a season-high 15 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. Freshman forward Ben Sarson also had a big night, recording 9 points in 14 minutes, his most since he came to the hilltop last fall.

This win signals the Hilltoppers’ sixth regional title since 2011 and they will be hoping to go all the way to bring home the NCAA DII National Championship, a feat that the program is yet to achieve. Their last Elite Eight appearance came in 2016 when they defeated Stonehill College before losing out to Lincoln Memorial University in the Final Four. Two years before that the Toppers reached their first ever NCAA tournament final where they unfortunately lost to the University of Central Missouri. With their offensive talent and hard-working attitude West Liberty’s men’s Basketball team has all the tools they need to go one step further in this year’s tournament.

The tournament will be played at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana on March 24-27 where the Toppers will be one of eight teams battling it out for the national title. For more information and updates from the tournament visit hilltoppersports.com