(West Liberty, WV) – The Glenville State Pioneers fell behind early and could never recover as they were defeated tonight by West Liberty State, 120-83. The Hilltoppers were paced as usual by the dynamic duo of Chris Banal and Ben Howlett, as the pair combined to score 43 points. Howlett dropped a game high 24 and Banal added 19 points. Corey Pelle came off the bench to score 19 points on 7 of 12 shooting.
The Pioneers (4-11, 2-6) were paced by Mykail Vibbert’s 18 points. Chase Grooves and Tryvan Leech each added 15 points for GSC, who fell behind 7-0 early and were never able to recover.
WLSC (14-1, 8-1) would score early and often in the opening frame as they would race out to a 52-31 halftime lead. The Hilltoppers, who led by as many as 29 in the half, shot a scorching 58% from the field and forced 15 Pioneers turnovers. West Liberty’s defense held Glenville State to just 34% from the field and a dismal 3-14 from behind the arc.
West Liberty held to Pioneers off the scoreboard for the first 4:30 of the half and limited them to just nine points in the opening 10 minutes.
The 2nd half saw the Pioneers’ offensive warm up as they dropped in 52 points, however defensively the 2nd half was just as bad as WLSC scored 68 points in the half. A 18-2 run midway through the half would put any comeback hopes to rest, as the West Lib lead would stretch to as much as 45 points.
For the second straight game the GSC defense allowed an opponent to shoot over 60% from the field. The Hilltoppers shot 60% from the field and an impressive 9-21 (43%) from the 3pt line. Glenville shot 39% from the field and 36% from the arc.
The West Liberty trap caused all kinds of problems for Glenville as they came up with 17 steals in route to forcing 27 turnovers.
The Pioneers conclude their northern panhandle road trip as they take on Wheeling Jesuit on Saturday. Tip Off is at 4pm.