WISE - The Hilltoppers extended their win-streak to 14 on Thursday night as West Liberty (14-0, 9-0 MEC) banked 17 three-pointers to top the Cavaliers, 120-85. Sophomore guard Chance Sheffey scored a career-high 22 points in the loss.
Sheffey would put the first points on the board as the Cavaliers (6-9, 4-5 MEC) managed to keep it close for the first eight minutes of the half, only down by one, 17-16, with 12:39 on the clock. West Liberty's seven three-point shots in the first-half would allow the Hilltoppers to sustain a lofty lead heading into halftime with West Liberty up 56-34.
The Hilltoppers shot 21-for-40 (52.5 percent) in the first-half while the Cavaliers went 11-for-29 (37.9 percent) going into the half. West Liberty had 14 assists and 20 rebounds, committing just two turnovers in the opening half. UVa-Wise grabbed 18 boards with nine assists and turned the ball over nine times.
Sheffey led the Cavs at the half with 10 points while redshirt senior Taiwo Badmus collected six points, eight rebounds, and five assists.
West Liberty utilized a relentless full-court press to exhaust the Cavs assisted by frequent substitutions to keep up the Hilltoppers momentum. The Cavs would continue to battle in the second half, down by 15 behind a Sheffey three-pointer.
The Hilltoppers ten shots from downtown in the second would allow West Liberty to continue to extend its hefty lead throughout the game. The Cavs would outscore the Hilltoppers in the paint 22-20 in the second-half while West Liberty benefited from 28 bench points to just seven points off the bench for the Cavaliers.
Badmus led all scorers in the second-half with 14 points while the Hilltoppers James Griffin went 4-for-4 in the second with 13 points. The Cavaliers hit 17-of-34 (50 percent) from the floor in the second-half as West Liberty went 22-for-39 (56.4 percent) from the field.
The Cavs shot 28-for-63 (44.4 percent) from the floor on the night with the Hilltoppers going 43-for-79 (54.4 percent) from the field.
West Liberty's James Griffin led the Hilltoppers in scoring with 21 points. Evan French went 6-for-9, 5-for-8 from beyond the arc, with 17 points for the Hilltoppers. Dan Monteroso and Dalton Bolon both had 16 points for West Liberty with Monteroso adding seven rebounds and Bolon recording eight rebounds.
Badmus collected a double-double against the Hilltoppers, netting 20 points and grabbing 11 boards. The redshirt senior added a career-high six assists and one block while sophomore forward Yesid Mosquera-Perea went 6-for-10, posting 15 points and six rebounds. Sophomore point guard Michal Seals added nine points, eight assists, and three rebounds for the Cavaliers.