The West liberty’s women basketball team will square off against West Virginia Wesleyan for the third time this season in the quarterfinal round of the WVIAC tournament.
Even with Wesleyan being the No. 1 seed, I like the women’s chances in this game. Lets take a look at the earlier meetings.
WLU won the first matchup 69-62 at the ASRC on Jan 21. In that game, the Hilltoppers managed to hold the All-WVIAC tandem of Lydia Bridenbaugh and Jamie Kaufman to 17 and nine points, respectively. The duo came into the game averaging a combined 44 ppg. West Liberty was able to keep the game close through out before going on an 11-2 run to seal the win.
Wesleyan proved to be the victors in the second meeting in Buckhannon. Though the Bobcats won 85-73, the night belonged to Kayla Ayers. The senior poured on 41 points while draining 13 3-pointers. (Yep, you read that right) However, this time around, WLU could not slow down the Bobcat duo with Bridenbaugh hitting for 27 and Kaufman adding 22.
The Hilltoppers must be physical with these team. West Liberty is coming off an 71-62 victory against Seton Hill, where it held a 26-4 advantage in the paint during the first half. This was the key stat for the game as the Hilltoppers went into halftime ahead 44-34 and never looked back.
Emily Blevins came away with a game-high 13 rebounds and will need to have that same success against Wesleyan for West Liberty to win. Look for Ayers to get plenty of attention from the Bobcats, giving Hillary Southworth an opportunity for a big game. Wesleyan does not want to be burned again from the perimeter so there will be man-t0-man options in the paint.
The Hilltoppers have momentum and the energy coming off a nine-point road win while Wesleyan was idle in the first round. Don’t be surprised for an upset Wednesday nigh at the Civic Center. The battle is set to tip off at 6:30.