The Glenville State Pioneers built a big second half lead and held on late to pick up a huge victory over second place West Liberty State, 108-105, tonight at Lilly Gymnasium in Glenville, WV. Anthony Kimble led all scorers with 32 points and eight rebounds as the Pioneers topped last years’ win total, improving to 10-5 overall and 4-4 in the WVIAC.
Pioneers Take Down West Liberty
Jamal Holden recorded a triple double with 15 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists, and added four steals, in the contests. Tryvan Leech followed up his 52-point performance with 27 points. Chase Groves added 21 points and 6 assists for the Pioneers. The Pioneers shot 52.3% percent from the field, 48.4% from behind the arc and an impressive 25-29 for 86.2% from the foul line.
Entering the contest, West Liberty State led the country in four offensive categories, including scoring offense (105.2) and three-point field goals made per game (12.8). They ranked at the top of the WVIAC in eight statistical categories. While they hit their average of 105 points per outing, the difference may have been the three-point line. The Pioneers converted 15 three-point shots, while the Hilltoppers connected on only six of 20 attempts.
West Liberty was led by Ben Howlett’s 22 points as they fell to 11-4 overall and 6-2 in the WVIAC. John Wolosinczuk added 21 points and 11 rebounds, Corey Pelle tallied 17 and Shane Maynard 16 markers. WLSC shot 50 from the field, but the number one three-point shooting team in the WVIAC struggled tonight against the Pioneers athleticism, connecting on just 6 of 20 attempts.
The Pioneers jumped all over the Hilltoppers in the opening frame, connecting on 12 of 23 three point attempts. The sharp shooting allowed the hosts to race out to a 63-50 lead at the break.
The second half would see West Liberty State put some fear in to Glenville State on a couple of occasions. After a Groves three point play would push the lead to 17 points at 73-56 with 16:21 remaining, West Liberty State would use a 13-2 run over the next 2:37 to quickly make it 75-69 with 13:54 to play.
Glenville State would answer right back with a run of their own, as they would outscore the Hilltoppers 16-3 over the next 3:30 to push the lead to 19 at 91-72 with 10:24 to go.
West Liberty would then make things interesting, just as Glenville State went cold. The Hilltoppers would outscore the Pioneers 29-13 over the final 9:32.
The Pioneers would keep the lead hovering around double digits until the five minute mark. Seven turnovers and only one made field goal in the final 6:12 would make it a close ball game again.
A Ben Howlett three point play and a Mike Mathey layup would cut the lead to 107-103 with 2:32 left. Following a Kimble turnover and misses on both ends, Mathey would drain two free throws to cut the lead to two points, 107-105, with 1:01 remaining.
The Pioneers would turn the ball over on their next possession as Gabe Gibbs would sail the cross court pass over Leech’s head with 33 seconds remaining. However, it wouldn’t take long for Gibbs to atone for his mistake. With 10 seconds remaining the Hilltoppers Ben Howlett would get by his man on the left block and go up for a layup. Gibbs, who was rotating over from the right block, would reject Howlett’s layup attempt right into the arms of Leech.
Tryvan was immediately fouled, but would only make one of two free throws to make it 108-105 with 8.9 seconds left.
West Liberty State would quickly push the ball down court and Maynard would have a look from 24 feet that would miss off the iron to the left. Holden would pull down the rebound as time expired.
The Hilltoppers rallied back due in part to a 52-24 advantage in the paint and 29 points off 21 Glenville State turnovers.
The big four of Holden, Groves, Leech and Kimble again came up huge, combining for 95 pts, 26, rebs, and 18 assists. In the last two wins the four have combined for 195 points, 55 rebounds and 41 assists.
The 2-0 week for the Pioneers has been big for a team who had lost three straight after a six-game win streak. “I am very proud of our team and the effort they have played with, both tonight and on Thursday,” stated fourth-year head coach Dwaine Osborne. “We had some mental lapses and were careless at times, but give West Liberty State credit because they force you into those type of mistakes sometimes. All in all, I am proud of how we have rebounded from a couple of tough losses. Hopefully, we can continue to improve our play and begin peaking at the right time as February is quickly approaching.”
The Pioneers will look to make it three straight as they travel to Greensburg, PA on Monday to take on Seton Hill. It will be the first ever trip to Seton Hill for Glenville State College. Game time is set for 8:00pm.