By Kendrick Jackson, Contributing Writer
West Liberty women’s basketball hits the road this weekend for an inner-conference matchup against Notre Dame. Tipoff is at 2 p.m., Sunday in South Euclid, Ohio. The Lady Toppers sit at 5-3, tied for second in the Mountain East Conference.
Head Coach Kyle Cooper and his Hilltoppers return to the Tri-State area after travelling south for two non-conference matchups during Thanksgiving break and playing against Urbana University at home this past Wednesday.
WLU’s first stop came in North Carolina as they took on the Winston-Salem State Rams. Every Hilltopper contributed in the 107-101 win against Winston-Salem State. Three players finished with 24 or more points for the Black and Gold. Senior guard Brandi Beader ended the game with a season-high 25 points, including seven three-point field-goals.
Following their win in North Carolina, the Hilltoppers continued south to Florida for a matchup against Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. The Black and Gold couldn’t secure a second win as Embry-Riddle pulled away in the second half for a 104-89 win. Junior guard Morgan Brunner finished with a team-high 22 points, including six field-goals from beyond the arc.
The Hilltoppers have been sizzling offensively this season, ranking second in the MEC in points-per-game. As of Nov. 30, in eight games, WLU is averaging 88.5 points per game.
This strong play is led by Black and Gold senior forward Marissa Brown and junior guard Taylor Johnson. As of Nov. 30, both players rank in the MEC Top 10 for scoring this season, first and sixth, respectively.
With the Lady Toppers averaging 88.5 points per game so far this season, that is a 4.5 margin between their opponents at 84.0. The offense is putting up big numbers by getting help from a variety of players.
West Liberty split both games against the Falcons of Notre Dame last season, including an 88-80 loss on the road. Luckily for the Black and Gold, the Falcons are currently winless at home (0-1). However, Notre Dame is one of the best defensive teams in the conference, ranking second in points allowed per game with 65.6, as of Nov. 30.
The Falcons can still score the ball too. Seina Adachi is currently ranked third in the MEC for scoring, averaging 20.9 points per game for Notre Dame, as of Nov. 30. The junior guard scored more than 500 points last season, earning herself First-Team All-MEC honors.
Photo Credit: Hilltoppersports.com