Photo Credit: Hilltopppersports.com
By Kendrick Jackson, Contributing Writer
Conference play continues to amp up ahead of the Mountain East Conference tournament. West Liberty University is looking to sweep Fairmont State this weekend as the Black and Gold maintain the No. 4 seed in the MEC.
The Hilltoppers took the first game against the Fighting Falcons. However, it would be a close one as West Liberty defeated Fairmont State 84-82, avoiding the upset. Down 81-82 in the remaining seconds of the game, WLU Guard Audrey Tingle (6.4 points-per-game) drained a three-pointer with 1.1 seconds remaining to give the Black and Gold the victory.
Head Coach Kyle Cooper and company will look for a more convincing victory at home this weekend. The Hilltoppers (11-7, as of Jan. 28) are 3-1 at home to start the new year. WLU Foward Marissa Brown will be locked in early as she looks to bounce back from a 13 point, 8 rebound outing in the first meeting.
The double-double machine is averaging 24.1 points-per-game and 12.6 rebounds-per-game, as of Jan. 28. In a recent game against Wheeling Jesuit, the Cardinals defense managed to hold the 2018 First-Team All MEC honoree to zero points in 28 minutes. However, Brown remained unstoppable on the glass, tying a game-high 17 rebounds with Cardinals Forward Chenelle Moore.
Fairmont State (7-11, as of Jan. 28) will have a second shot at scoring an upset against the Hilltoppers. However, with a 1-6 record on the road, the odds are not in their favor.
Fairmont State Forward Rachel Laskody is determined to avenge her team’s after missing the potential game-winning shot in the heartbreaking loss to the Black and Gold. Laskody is the second-leading scorer for the Fighting Falcons, averaging 15.1 points-per-game, as of Jan. 28.
Head Coach Steve McDonald, the winningest women’s basketball coach in Fairmont State history, leads the Fighting Falcons for his 19th season. Fairmont State has taken a step back after advancing to the second round of the MEC tournament last season. Coach McDonald and company will look to get back on track with an upset victory against WLU.
This week’s NCAA Division II showcase game will begin at 1:35 p.m. For more game previews and recaps, make sure to pick up your copy of The Trumpet every Thursday.