Wheeling Jesuit Tops Charleston For MEC Tournament Title

The Free Press WV

Wheeling Jesuit 80, Charleston 65

In its fifth season of existence, the Mountain East Conference has its fifth different men’s basketball tournament champion.

Wheeling Jesuit went on a 9-2 run over a three-minute span late in the second half to salt away an 80-65 victory over No. 5 Charleston in the tourney championship on Sunday afternoon at the Charleston Civic Center, marking the third time the second seed has won the title.

Also, for the fifth consecutive year, the top seed failed to win the tournament. In fact, only twice has the top seed played in the championship game: West Liberty (2014) and Fairmont (2017).

Wheeling Jesuit (26-5), which was coming off three consecutive seasons of semifinal round elimination, earn an automatic bid into the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region Tournament. The tournament selection show is set for 10:30 p.m. Sunday night during which the host and seeds will be announced. The top eight teams in the region will continue postseason play, with West Liberty expected to join Wheeling Jesuit in the Atlantic Region Tournament.

“I said all week that we have a good team,” Wheeling Jesuit coach Danny Sancomb said. “I’m so proud of the guys.”

The Golden Eagles (18-13), winners of the inaugural MEC Tournament in 2014, scored the first four points. When Brent Pegram hit the second of his record-setting five 3-pointers to give Wheeling Jesuit a 6-4 lead, the Cardinals didn’t trail again.

“It takes the right player to play in our program,” Sancomb said. “Guys like Brent had to come in at 6 in the morning to hear me yell and scream and running wind sprints.”

Pegram was 5-of-7 from 3-point range tying him with Notre Dame’s Tyree Gaiter for the most 3-pointers in the MEC title game. Gaiter had five against Concord in 2016.

Pegram, a freshman from Upper Marlboro, Maryland, joined teammates Haywood Highsmith and Preston Boswell as players who didn’t leave the court.

He averaged 22.1 minutes per game in the regular season. On Sunday, Pegram (29) and Highsmith (31) combined for 60 points as their team’s only double-figure scorers. Wheeling Jesuit played the tournament without first-team all-MEC player Pat Moseh, and guard Drake Goddard, who averaged 22.9 minutes per game, went down hard with 11:53 remaining, hitting his head on the floor.

Coach Sancomb was unsure of his condition, but Goddard was helped off the floor slowly by a trainer and teammate Ryan Cooper.

Pegram picked up the slack, hitting eight of his 10 total field goal attempts, five of his seven 3-point attempts and eight of his nine free throws.

“I think they were more physical today,” Charleston coach Dwaine Osborne said. “They were quicker to the ball and I thought they absolutely dominated the glass. How do you identify toughness?

“People think about it as physical toughness, but it’s more than that: there’s mental toughness and you look at your ability to execute, handle pressure, handle your emotions … those are toughness things … your ability to do what is asked of you and do it well. I don’t think we were very tough today, including myself.”

The Golden Eagles were led by Keir Anderson (18 points), Austin Howard (14), and Seth O’Neal (12).

Highsmith had his 28th double-double of the season, adding 11 rebounds to his game-high scoring total.

Wheeling Jesuit hit eight of its 17 3-point attempts in the first half, then was 2-of-7 in the second half. The Cardinals also took advantage of their free throw opportunities, hitting 18-of-22 for the game, including 16-of-19 in the critical second half. Charleston was 15-of-18 from the line in the second half.

The record-setting day featured 20 team or individual MEC Tournament championship game records broken or tied.

2018 MEC All-Tournament Team

Tommy Bolte, Concord

Pat Johnson-Agwu, West Virginia State

Dan Monteroso, West Liberty

Lamont McManus, Charleston

Keir Anderson, Charleston

Preston Boswell, Wheeling Jesuit

Brent Pegram, Wheeling Jesuit

MVP-Haywood Highsmith, Wheeling Jesuit

Highest Scoring Average: Tommy Bolte, Concord (39.5 ppg)

Sportsmanship Award: Taiwo Badmus, UVa-Wise

Commissioner’s Heart & Hustle Award: Tommy Bolte, Concord

MEC Men’s Basketball Semifinals Recap

The Free Press WV

Charleston 95, West Liberty 93

Undaunted, unfazed, and untouched, the University of Charleston men’s basketball team turned away high-powered West Liberty for the second time in as many chances at the Mountain East Conference Tournament.

Senior Austin Howard hit a pair of free throws with 8.8 seconds left in overtime, completing a comeback from 23 points to shock the Hilltoppers 95-93 at the Charleston Civic Center on Friday night.

The Golden Eagles advance to Sunday’s 3:30 p.m. tournament championship game against the winner of Saturday’s late semifinal between Wheeling and Concord.

Charleston (18-12) has not beaten West Liberty in an MEC regular season since the league debuted in 2013, but the Eagles handed the Hilltoppers a 63-60 defeat in the tournament championship game that season.

That was the last time the teams met in the tourney.

“Maybe we should just tell them we’ll play tournament games all the time,” UC Coach Dwaine Osborne said. “We talked about that, being the last time we played West Liberty in the tournament. They were averaging 100 points per game and we beat them 63-60. Three or four weeks before that we lost 103-71. It just goes to show that if you have some resiliency and toughness, you can figure it out.”

West Liberty (26-2) hadn’t missed a beat under first-year coach Ben Howlett since he took over for Jim Crutchfield. Crutchfield took over the struggling program at Nova Southeastern in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, leaving behind a legacy as the winningest coach in NCAA history with at least 10 years of service.

Still, his Hilltoppers had not won the MEC Tournament until last season, and they won’t this season.

“It’s extremely frustrating,” Howlett said. “I haven’t been a part of too many losses … it’s 21 now, to be exact.”

Charleston’s motivation was that a loss meant no postseason beyond this week. West Liberty, the No. 2 team in the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region and eighth in the NABC Top 25, will receive a bid in the regional.
West Liberty came out firing and pushed out to a 50-27 lead with 3:04 remaining in the first half.

Very little was going right for the Golden Eagles.

“It didn’t look very good,” Osborne said. “We weren’t able to get stops or finish possessions. When we did get stops, it seemed they got an offensive rebound. Seth (O’Neal) gave us a huge lift. We were down 24-12 and then get get another point (when video confirmed an O’Neal 3-pointer for the half’s last bucket). Then we had 20 minutes to erase an 11-point deficit.”

Howlett took the heat for the loss, lamenting some lineup changes late in the first half.

“I was thinking this game is going the way we want it to this point, so I thought I would put some guys in and get them some time,” Howlett said. “I got a little crazy there with substitutions late in the first half and that’s when they made their run.”

Charleston finally eliminated any deficit when a Kier Anderson – who had a game-high 30 points – scored to give UC a one-point lead with 5:09 remaining.

There were four more lead changes to come.

Following a Dan Monteroso free throw to give West Liberty an 86-83 at the 40-second mark. Eighteen seconds later, Anderson hit the fifth of his seven 3-point attempts to tie the score.

In overtime, Charleston freshman Lamont McManus missed a pair of free throws with 40 seconds on the clock. He was 8-of-11 from the floor and finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

“I just had the flow of the game,” McManus said. “I get in foul trouble a lot. They take a lot of charges on me and I had to be real decisive. If I don’t see help coming, I take it to the basket. If there’s help, that’s when I kick it out.”

Howard picked him up with two free throws sandwiching a West Liberty timeout with nine seconds left.

West Liberty senior Jordan Watson, a transfer from Lincoln University, misfired on a 3-pointer with three seconds left.

O’Neal had 15 points and seven assists to help the Golden Eagles, while Jordan Smith added 11.

Monteroso had 29 points to lead the way for West Liberty, and freshman Dalton Bolon finished with 23. Brandon Smith added 18 for the Hilltoppers.

Wheeling Jesuit 83, Concord 69

Second-seeded Wheeling Jesuit quickly erased a four-point halftime deficit by opening the final half with a 17-2 run in the first 4:14 and as a result cruised to an 83-69 victory over sixth-seeded Concord in the semifinals of the Mountain East Conference Tournament here Saturday evening at the Charleston Civic Center.

The win was the eighth in a row for the Cardinals who improved to 25-5 and earned the right to play for their first-ever MEC Tournament title. WJU was eliminated in the semifinals the last three seasons.

Wheeling will square off Sunday at 3:45 p.m. with fifth-seeded University of Charleston (18-12) which eliminated top-seeded West Liberty Saturday evening, 95-93, in overtime.

“It’s always nice to get to the championship,” veteran Wheeling Jesuit coach Danny Sancomb said. “We’ve lost some tough semifinal games in this tournament, so we’re happy to be here, but we want to finish the job.
Cardinal senior forward and MEC Player of the Year Haywood Highsmith, who posted his conference-leading 27th double-double performance of the season inSaturday’s win with 22 points and 13 rebounds, agrees.

“This chance means a lot to me,” Highsmith said. “A lot of seniors don’t get the opportunity to play for a title. I’ve never won one so it’s cool to be in the championship game, but the plan is to win it. We came down here to get three. We’ve gotten two so far. We’ve just got to get the next one. It would mean a lot to me as a senior to get a championship for my team.”

Trailing 41-37 at the break, WJU started the second half like a team on a mission. Back-to-back 3-point field goals by Brent Pegram and Drake Goddard started the game-changing 17-2 spurt which gave the Cardinals a 54-43 lead it never relinquished. Concord, which made just one field goal in the first 10 minutes of the second half, got within eight twice in the final 14 minutes but could never get any closer.

“They started to gain some confidence there,” Concord junior guard Tommy Bolte said. “We were sitting in our zone and they hit a couple of threes and it really got them going. We were never really able to bounce back from that. I think that run right there really decided the game.”

Concord, which shot close to 50 percent in the opening half, cooled off considerably in the final 20 minutes and connected on just 9-of-26 field goal attempts.

“It was difficult for us early because they came out extremely hot and made a lot of threes, including a couple that they banked in,” Sancomb said. “We trusted the process, though, and continued to play our game. I think our will on the glass was very important and our defense, which is who we are. In a league that is all about scoring we are all about playing great defense and in the second half we were able to really lock in, make things difficult for them and limit them to one shot.”

Wheeling overcame a subpar shooting performance itself (25-of-64, 39.1 percent) by dominating Concord on the glass. The Cardinals held a 49-29 edge on the backboards, including a 20-5 advantage on the offensive glass.

“I thought our team did a really good job of executing our game plan and what we had hoped to get done on the defensive end,” Concord coach Todd May said. “A team as good as Wheeling Jesuit is, to hold them to 39 percent shooting and 36 percent from three is good, but we just weren’t able to rebound at the level we needed to and all the credit goes to them on that. They’re extremely athletic, extremely big and they kind of punched us on that.

“I’m extremely proud of my team, though. No one expected us to be here, but they showed a lot of toughness and grit throughout the year.”

Preston Boswell led Wheeling Jesuit in scoring with 23 points and seven rebounds. The Cardinals also got 21 points and four assists from Pegram.

Bolte, who had an MEC Tournament game record 51 points Friday in the Mountain Lions’ quarterfinal round win over Fairmont State, finished with 28 points and seven assists Saturday evening to pace Concord. B.J. Hamlet added 12 points, all of which came in the game’s first 5:20.

Wheeling Jesuit won both of its regular season meetings with Charleston, but both were close contests. The Cardinals claimed a 90-87 victory in overtime in Charleston on January 04 and then won, 75-69, in Wheeling on February 08. That victory started WJU’s current eight-game winning streak.

MEC Women’s Basketball Tournament Semifinals Recap

The Free Press WV

Glenville State 83, Fairmont State 69

When the Glenville State University women’s basketball team last played for a conference championship, Kim Stephens was completing her first season as an assistant coach, 2,500 miles away, at Sacramento State University in California.

Since that 2013-14 season Glenville—one of the dominant programs in the Mountain East Conference and prior to that in the West Virginia Conference—was finding ways to come up short in the postseason.

This season, Stephens’ second as head coach at her alma mater, the Pioneers are leaving little doubt.

Conference Player of the Year Paris McLeod scored 23 points and Glenville State closed the first period on a 15-2 run to earn its first MEC championship game since the league’s inaugural season in an 83-69 victory over Fairmont State (16-14) on Saturday at the Charleston Civic Center.

The Pioneers will face the winner of Saturday’s Notre Dame-West Virginia State semifinal at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Glenville seeks its first tournament title since 2014 and is hoping to become the league’s second two-time tourney champion. Wheeling Jesuit won the tournament championship in 2016 and 2017.

“A lot of people don’t get the opportunity to ever play in a championship game,” said Stephens, a 2011 graduate of Glenville State and an alum of Parkersburg South, where she played for her father Scott from 2003-07. “Our goal is to win it. That’s been our goal since day one. I want it so badly for this team. I want them to be able to experience it.”

The Pioneers (29-1), third in the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region and fifth in the national coaches’ poll, found themselves in a battle early when a Rachel Laskody basket resulted in the game’s third lead change and a 13-12 Fairmont advantage.

Senior guard Julie Bishop answered with Glenville’s first 3-pointer of the game for the final lead change. Fairmont didn’t score for the next 3:45 on a basket by MEC Freshman of the Year Sierra Kotchman.

“This game was a game,” said Fairmont State coach Steve McDonald, whose Falcons lost to Glenville by an average of almost 30 points in their first two meetings this season. “This was not a show up where the game’s over in the first five minutes or the first quarter. We were down 15 at the half and we lost by 14.

“They have a very good team, but this is a day I think we could have gotten them.”

Glenville kept up the pressure, extending its lead to 58-38 with 5:25 remaining in the third period, but the lead was back down to 14 two minutes later before another Bishop 3-pointer pushed the advantage back to 17.

Despite 23 turnovers, Stephens said the Falcons “had to have played very close to their game plan.

“That team has improved tremendously since the last time we played them. They’re well coached, play incredibly hard and are going to be very scary in the future.

Fairmont cut down their miscues by five since that 90-60 loss at home to the Pioneers on January 17.

They received a team-high 21 points from Kotchman, who added seven rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Senior Kelli Jo Harrison had 17 points, nine rebounds, and four assists in her final game at Fairmont State.

McLeod’s 23 led all scorers for the Pioneers. Emily Stoller’s 15 points helped Glenville, which used 13 players, 10 of whom played at least 15 minutes each. Kristin DesRocher had 10 points for the Pioneers.

Notre Dame 66, Glenville State 56

Second-seeded Notre Dame College suffered a pair of crucial losses early on here Saturday afternoon in the Mountain East Conference semifinals at the Charleston Civic Center, but it didn’t keep the resilient Falcons from recording a 66-56 victory over third-seeded West Virginia State.

The win, Notre Dame’s seventh in a row, improved the Falcons to 23-8 and puts them in Sunday’s 1 p.m. MEC Championship game against top-seeded and No. 5 ranked Glenville State. The 29-1 Pioneers eliminated fifth-seeded Fairmont State in Saturday’s other semifinal, 83-69.

It will be the second championship game appearance for both Glenville State and Notre Dame. The Pioneers won the inaugural MEC Tournament as the No. 1 seed in 2014 with a 74-50 victory over Charleston. Notre Dame, on the other hand, lost the 2015 championship game as the No. 6 seed, 76-55, to top-seeded West Liberty.

The Falcons faced adversity early Saturday as in a span of just 2:25 late in the opening quarter they lost both starting guard Marisa Finazzo and then backup guard Mackenzie Meckes to what looked to be severe knee injuries. Finazzo was the team’s assist leader, third-leading scorer (11.8) and played over 28 minutes a game, while Meckes played over 13 minutes a contest and averaged 4.8 points per outing.

“The extent of their injuries haven’t been confirmed yet. They’re still being evaluated, but we definitely knew they weren’t going to be able to finish the game today,” first-year NDC coach Lauren Macer said. “It’s nice our girls were able to come together. I thought it was great they were able to talk to each other, keep each other up and they did good jobs of refocusing on the game and on what we needed to do each time there was a dead ball or timeout.”

Senior forward Kim Cook, who posted her 11th double-double of the season finishing with a game-high 19 points and 11 rebounds, says dealing with adversity is nothing new for the Falcons.

“Adversity is something as a team that we’ve really faced this season,” Cook said. “Before the season Jessie (Stout) got hurt and we were like ‘Oh no what are we going to do?‘ Then we found a way to get our mojo back without her and Maggie (King) got hurt during the season so we had to re-group again.

“We’ve been in those positions before. We’re such a close-knit team that if one of our players is not able to be out there we want to do it for them. We wanted to win this game so bad for them (Marisa and Mackenzie). They’re both such big parts of this team. I told Marisa we’re going to win this game for you.”

Notre Dame took the lead early and never relinquished it. The Falcons shot the ball well (43.1 percent from the field), rebounded it better (plus 13 on the glass) and answered every challenge the Yellow Jackets had to offer.

State, on the other hand, struggled all afternoon shooting. The Yellow Jackets finished just 18-of-64 from the field (28.1 percent), including a 9-of-36 (25.0 percent) showing from 3-point range.

“It was a tough day for us,” State coach Charles Marshall said. “This group fought, competed and did everything that I’ve asked, but today our shots just didn’t fall. When you shoot 28 percent from the field it’s going to be tough to win any game.

“I thought we had great intensity on the defensive end. We held them under their average for the year from a points standpoint, but we got outrebounded. We forced them to have 24 turnovers, so defense wasn’t the problem. We had opportunities. We just didn’t have looks at the basket and when we did we were hesitant because our shots weren’t falling early. That’s basketball. It’s March Madness and anything can happen. We came in playing good ball and our girls gave us a chance to get to the championship, but we just came up short.”

Notre Dame led 20-14 after one quarter and extended it to 37-27 at the half. The Falcons pushed the lead to 14 early in the third before State rallied to cut it to eight late in the period. However, NDC’s Seina Adachi nailed a 3-pointer in the waning seconds to push the margin back to 11 heading to the fourth.

In the final 10 minutes the Yellow Jackets again got the deficit to eight early, but a quick 6-0 spurt by the Falcons extended it back to 14 with 5:54 to play and it never got below double digits again.

“It was very frustrating because we couldn’t gain any ground on them,” State’s Anna Ross said. “Like coach said we weren’t knocking down shots and when you don’t do that it’s tough to come back.”

Cook, who also had a season-high four blocked shots in the win, was joined in double figures for Notre Dame by Adachi, who finished with 17 points and Kyleigh Ramlow, who contributed 10.

Ross and Jordan led the Yellow Jackets with 13 points apiece. Alexandra Jackson finished with 12 points, four assists and three steals.

Notre Dame lost both regular-season meetings to Glenville State. The Pioneers won 84-69 in Glenville on Jan. 4and claimed a hard-fought 88-84 victory on the Falcons’ home court on February 08. Since the February 08 setback Notre Dame has won seven straight. GSC comes into Sunday’s title game riding a 28-game winning streak.

Glenville State Dominates Fairmont State, Advances to MEC Championship Game

The Free Press WV

The Glenville State Lady Pioneers defeated Fairmont State University as they claimed their 28th straight victory and punched their ticket to the MEC Tournament Championship game.

Glenville State (29-1) netted nine three-pointers and 10 players score while Fairmont State (16-14) went just 4-of-13 from deep and had two players in double figures.

GSC’s Paris McLeod started right where she left off on Thursday as she scored the first two points of the ball game. But after those two points FSU went on a 6-0 run as they took a 6-2 lead. GSC later tied the game up at 6-6. The Lady Pioneers held just a three point lead at the first media timeout with 4:46 to play.

After the media timeout the Lady Pioneers went on an 8-0 run to take 20-13 lead over the Falcons.  Glenville State made some separation to end the first quarter as they went on a 12-2 run as they held a 12 point lead after one, 27-15.

In the second, both teams would start out slow however GSC would manage to stretch their lead to 19 points at the 6:04 minute mark, 38-19. Fairmont proceeded to make a small run and cut the deficit to 13 points with 47 seconds left but Paris McLeod would hit two free-throws as the Lady Pioneers went into halftime with up 44-29.

Glenville State’s defense forced FSU into 14 turnovers in the first half of action.

In the third, FSU made a small 5-0 run as they made it 54-38 but GSC bounced back and stretched their lead to 21 at 61-40 with 4:08 to play in the quarter. Again the Falcons made another run as Sierra Kotchman hit back-to-back three’s for FSU, cutting the Lady Pioneers lead to 13 points 63-50. Glenville State ended up taking a 69-52 lead into the fourth.

Fairmont would try and make a comeback in the fourth and even outscored GSC 17-14 in the quarter. However, the deficit was just too much to overcome as Glenville State picked up the 83-69 win and advance to the MEC Tournament Championship Game on Sunday.

Glenville State finished the day shooting 41 percent from the field and 22 percent from deep while Fairmont State shot 44 percent from the field and 30 percent from deep.

The Lady Pioneers scored 21 points off of 23 Falcon turnovers while also outscoring them in the paint 44-34.

GSC’s bench scored 32 point while FSU had 17 points from their bench.

Glenville State’s Paris McLeod scored a game-high 23 points while grabbing seven rebounds, four assists and five steals. Emily Stoller registered 15 points while Kristin DesRocher chipped in with 10 points.

Fairmont was led by freshman Sierra Kotchman as she poured in 21 points and seven rebounds. Kelli Jo Harris chipped in with 17 points and nine boards.

Glenville State (29-1) will now take on the winner of the #2 Notre Dame / #3 West Virginia State in the MEC Tournament Championship on Sunday, March 4th at 1:00 p.m. from the Charleston Civic Center. It will be first Tournament Championship game for the Lady Pioneers since winning it back in 2013-14, the inaugural year of the MEC.

Pioneers Drop Double-Header to Mercyhurst

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The GSC Pioneer baseball team dropped a double-header with Mercyhurst University Saturday at the Sue Morris Sports Complex.

Mercyhurst took game one by a final score of 9-2.  Game two belonged to Mercyhurst as well by a final score of 3-0.

Andrue Hughart took the loss in game one, giving up seven runs and two hits in five-and-a-third innings work. Hughart was able to strike out nine Lakers on the day.  The Pioneers committed five errors defensively.

Mercyhurst was able to plate one run in the first inning, and another in the top of the third inning.

The Pioneers were able to tie it up at 2-2 in the bottom of the third inning. Christian Hedinger scored from third on a passed ball. Bacon then scored on an RBI single to left-field from Tyler Phillips.

A big six run fifth inning proved to be the difference for Mercyhurst. An error followed by a single and a triple were all followed up by a three-run homer to left-field by Zach Mitchell. Mercyhurst held an 8-2 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth inning.

The Lakers were able to tack on one run in the top of the seventh inning to push their lead to 9-2.

Offensively, the Pioneers notched two runs on three hits.

Game two, went to Mercyhurst by a final score of 3-0. Stauffer took the loss on the mound for the Pioneers.

Mercyhurst was able to score one run in the top of the first as well as the top of the third and fourth innings to hold a 3-0 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth. The score would remain 3-0 for the remainder of the game.

Offensively, GSC registered no hits but had three hitters reach base by walk.

The Pioneers will return to action on Sunday, March 4th as they take on Post University in a double-header slated to begin at 12 p.m. at the Sue Morris Sports Complex.

Lady Pioneers Advance to MEC Semifinals with Victory Over Shepherd

The Free Press WV

The Glenville State Lady Pioneers defeated the Rams of Shepherd University on Thursday evening in the MEC Tournament Quarterfinals as they won their 27th straight, 107-76.

Glenville State (28-1) had four players in double figures and scored 14 fast break points while Shepherd (15-15) had just two players score in double figures.

Paris McLeod scored the first four points of the contest as she put the Lady Pioneers up early in their quarterfinal matchup with the Rams, 4-0. Shepherd, however responded and tied the game up at the 8:12 minute mark at 6-6.

Glenville State then went on 14-2 run as they took a 10 point lead at the 4:40 minute mark at 20-10. In the run by GSC, Paris McLeod netted a three-pointer as she scored her 1,500 career point as a Lady Pioneer.

Shepherd would make small run however the Lady Pioneers managed to hold a 10 point lead at 24-14. The Rams then went on a 6-0 run as they cut GSC’s 10 point lead to just four, 24-20. At the end of one Glenville State held a 27-22 lead over Shepherd.

In the second quarter the Rams battled back and again cut GSC’s lead to just four at, 37-33 with 5:40 till halftime. Shepherd outscored the Lady Pioneers 14-11 to end the half as Glenville State took a two point lead at the break, 49-47.

Shepherd tied the game up at 49 all early in the third quarter however after the tie the Lady Pioneers exploded on the offensive end as they went on a 10-0 run to take 10 point lead, 59-49 with 7:03 to play in the quarter.

The Rams continued to battle back and cut the deficit to five points at the 5:53 minute mark at 59-54. But the Lady Pioneers answered right back as they went on an 11-0 run as they built a 16 point lead at 70-54 with 3:03 to play. Glenville State ended up taking a 14 point lead into the fourth, 79-65.

In the fourth quarter it was all GSC as they outscored the Rams 28-11 in the quarter as they went on to win by 31 points, 107-76 and advance to the MEC Semifinals on Saturday.

Glenville State shot 45 percent from the field and 35 percent from deep while Shepherd shot 47 percent from the floor and just 18 percent from deep.

The Lady Pioneers defense forced 26 turnovers and converted them into 30 points. Head Coach Kim Stephens also earned her first career MEC Tournament victory.

Paris McLeod had herself a night as she scored a game high 38 points to go along with eight rebounds and four assists. The 38 points broke the MEC Tournament Single Game Record which was set by GSC’s Keyanna Tate (37 points) back in 2015.

Tayana Stewart scored 16 points while Abby Stoller chipped in with 12 points and seven rebounds. Bhrea Griffin registered 10 points and four assist in the win.

Shepherd was led by Morgan Arden as she scored 25 points.

Glenville State (28-1) now advances to the MEC Tournament Semifinals on Saturday, March 3rd at 12:00 p.m. and will take on the No. 5 seed Fairmont State.

Pioneers Fall in Overtime in MEC Tournament

The Free Press WV

The Glenville State Pioneers season came to an end on Wednesday night as they lost a hard fought battle in overtime to the Cavaliers of UVa-Wise in the first round of the MEC Tournament, 89-83.

Glenville State (8-21) shot just 22 percent from deep hitting just 8-of-36 while UVa-Wise (14-15) finished the night shooting 45 percent from deep drilling 14-of-31 three-pointers.

In the first half, Darhius Nunn would net the first two points of the ballgame as he drilled two early free-throws. After that both team would go back and forth. The Cavaliers took their first lead of the game at 5-4.

Theo Brown provided a spark off of the bench as he converted a three-point play as the Pioneers took a four point lead at the 15:50 minute mark, 9-5. The Cavaliers answered back and would end up leading GSC 11-10 at the first media timeout.

Glenville State and UVa-Wise ended up all tied up at 21 all at the 10:42 minute mark. But after that tie the Cavaliers went on a 2:46 scoring drought but the Pioneers only led by four, 25-21 with 8:19 to play.

However after that drought the Cavaliers then went on a 9-0 run, hitting back-to-back three-pointers in that stretch, as the Cavaliers led the Pioneers by five 30-25. UVa-Wise then stretched their lead to seven over GSC at 36-29 with just 2:11 till halftime.

Glenville State scored the last five points of the half as they pulled within two points as they trailed UVa-Wise 36-34. Glenville State in the first half shot 41 percent from the field but went just 3-of-14 from deep for 21 percent while UVa-Wise shot 37 percent from the field and shot 43 percent from deep nailing 7-of-15 three-pointers.

UVa-Wise started the second half on a 10-2 run as they built a 10 point lead over the Pioneers at 46-36. Brooks Ely then cut it to seven, 46-39, as he netted a huge three-pointer. But the Cavaliers answered right back as they took an 11 point lead at the 14:44 media timeout, 52-41.

The Pioneers would struggle on the offensive end while the Cavaliers got hot and stretched their lead to 15 points at 60-45 with 11:54 minute mark. Glenville State would not give up as they battled back and cut the Cavaliers lead to single digits, eight points, at 66-58 as when headed into the last four minutes of the game.

Glenville State continued to battle as the Pioneers scored back-to-back buckets as they cut the Cavaliers lead to five, 72-67 with 1:46 to play. After a defensive stop by the Pioneers Theo Brown would lay it in as he made it a three-point game, 72-69 with just 1:18.

Another great defensive stand by GSC gave them the ball back. Jon Dunmyer then was fouled on a three-pointer but hit just 1-of-3 from the line as the Pioneers trailed by two, 72-70. Darhius Nunn then tied the game up at 72 all with a 15-footer as we headed into overtime. 

Overtime saw the Cavaliers drilled back-to-back three-pointers as they went on a 6-0 run to take a 78-72 lead but Jon Dunmyer answered back with a three-pointer of his own making it 78-75 with 3:44 to play. UVa-Wise would get a bucket on their next possession but again GSC answered this time as Brooks Ely hit a three-pointer pulling within three, 81-78. But again the Cavaliers answered as they went up by five, 83-78. A Cavalier turnover and a three-point play by Darhius Nunn pulled the Pioneers with two points with 1:06 to play 83-31.

Glenville State then was forced to foul as UVa-Wise hit six straight free-throws down the stretch as the Cavaliers held on to defeat the Pioneers, 89-83.

GSC finished the contest shooting 38 percent from the field while UVa-Wise shot 40 percent.

The rebounding battle went to the Pioneers as they out rebounded the Cavaliers by 15, 55-40. However GSC had 19 costly turnovers on the night.

The Pioneers had four players post double figures with Darhius Nunn leading the way with 21 points while going just 7-of-28 from the field. Nunn also dished out a team high seven assists and pulled down six boards. Jon Dunmyer scored 17 points as he netted 4-of-10 three-pointers.Brooks Ely posted a double-double as he scored 10 points and grabbed a game high 15 rebounds. Andrew Johnson also chipped in with 10 points.

UVa-Wise also had four players in double figures with Taiwo Badmus scoring a game high 30 points as he went 10-of-19 from the floor while grabbing 14 rebounds as he posted a double-double. Chance Sheffey scored 19 points in the contest while Michal Seals scored 15 points and dished out nine assists. Yesid Mosquera-Perea chipped in with 10 points.

Papa John’s Drops NFL Sponsorship

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The NFL is now lacking an “official pizza.“ Papa John’s has announced that it is cutting ties with the league, ending a sponsorship deal that began in 2010, CNN reports. Steve Ritchie, the pizza chain’s new CEO, says the company will now focus on deals with star players and 22 individual teams instead of a broader sponsorship deal. “While the NFL remains an important channel for us we have determined that there are better ways to reach and activate this audience,“ he told investors Tuesday, per CNBC. He said the NFL and Papa John’s are parting ways by mutual agreement.

Amid slumping sales, stock in Papa John’s is down by more than a third since last summer. It sank another 3.9% after Ritchie’s announcement. In November, founder “Papa” John Schnatter claimed that NFL anthem protests were the reason for falling pizza sales and urged NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to force all players to stand for the anthem. “Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership,“ he said. The company later apologized for his remarks and Schnatter resigned as CEO the following month.

CBS launching a 24-hour streaming sports news network

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CBS Corp. is rolling out a 24-hour streaming sports news network that will feature the day’s top news, highlights and analysis.

The company said Monday the network will have a DVR-like functionality that allows viewers to watch previous segments and jump back into live programming seamlessly.

CBS Sports HQ is available on; the CBS Sports app for key connected TV devices including Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Roku; the CBS Sports mobile app for iOS and Android; CBSN and the CBS All Access subscription service.

The announcement comes as ESPN continues to struggle, cutting staff as it shifts its focus to digital. The 38-year-old network has been squeezed by rising fees to broadcast live events. ESPN also has lost about 10 million subscribers during the past six years, based on estimates by Nielsen Media Research.

Warriors Skipping White House on Washington Visit

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The Golden State Warriors are heading to Washington, just not to the White House. The traditional champions’ invitation was never granted from President Trump—and it appears the Warriors might have declined it, anyway. So they plan to spend their day in the city with local children Tuesday, the AP reports. “We’re doing a great thing anyways,“ All-Star Klay Thompson said Monday, after the Warriors beat the New York Knicks in the opener of a road trip. “The White House is a great honor but there’s extenuating circumstances that we felt that we’re not comfortable doing. We’re not going to politicize anything, we’re just going to hang out with some kids, take them to an African-American museum and hopefully teach them things we learned along the way and life lessons, and we’ll still be getting some great memories.“

The White House visit is traditionally scheduled during the NBA champions’ trip to face the Washington Wizards the following season. The Warriors play the Wizards on Wednesday. But Warriors All-Star Stephen Curry had said he did not want to go to the White House last September and Trump then made it clear he wasn’t welcome, sending a tweet that read: “Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!“ Curry says: “It’s kind of beating a dead horse at this point. We’re excited to have an opportunity that we’re going to tomorrow as a team, but other than that it’s a business trip and we’re excited to keep the road trip going.“

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