Storybook Season for Topper Fans


The No. 1-ranked men’s basketball team came up one win shy of playing for a national title, but the memories burn bright for Topper fans. Hundreds of fans followed the team to the Final Four — and nearly 200,000 Facebook fans viewed posts. Tweets were hot too thanks to #toppernation.


  • WLU led the nation in scoring for the seventh time in the past eight seasons with 3,702 points. No other NCAA team – men or women – scored 3,000 points this year
  • Hilltoppers led the nation in three other stats and ranked in the Top 10 nationally in six more
  • 34 wins were a school record, eclipsing the 33 wins by our 2011 Final Four team
  • The National Association of Basketball Coaches made WLU its No. 1 pick in their final NCAA Division II Top 25 poll for the second time in the past three seasons
  • WLU set an NCAA Division II record for winning percentage (128-9, .934) over a four-year span, falling one win short of the record of 129 wins in four consecutive seasons set from 2000-03 by Winona State, which was hammered, 110-84, by WLU in Elite Eight quarterfinal
  • Toppers had four 1,000-point scorers in their starting lineup at the Elite Eight
  • Consensus All-American Alex Falk was named NCAA Division II National Player of the Year by Basketball Times, Daktronics & D II Bulletin
  • Head coach Jim Crutchfield leads all NCAA men’s basketball coaches in career winning percentage (241-45, .843)
  • Crutchfield won his fifth straight WVIAC Coach of the Year honor and was the Atlantic Region Coach of the Year for the third consecutive season
  • Women’s basketball earned its own share of the spotlight during the season as Coach Lynn Ullom’s Lady Hilltoppers posted their seventh 20-win season in the last eight years.
  • Junior guard Hillary Southworth earned national attention as only the third WVIAC woman in more than three decades to be honored as a first-team NCAA D II All-American by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.
  • The nation’s second-leading scorer at 24.1 ppg., Southworth swept the WVIAC and Atlantic Region Player of the Year Awards and was a consensus first-team All-America selection after posting only the second 700-point season in WLU history
  • Southworth, who passed the 1,000-point career milestone late in the season, received plenty of support from a deep and talented Hilltopper roster. Senior forward Meghan Wiseman returned from a medical redshirt with an outstanding run. The team’s second-leading scorer (14.9 ppg.) and rebounder (6.1 rpg.), Wiseman ranks No. 2 all-time at West Liberty with 157 blocked shots and is one of only two Lady Hilltoppers ever with more than 1,000 points, 600 rebounds and 150 blocks. First-year standout Liz Flowers was named to the WVIAC All-Freshman Team after starting every game in her debut season.


Coach Brian Davis’s wrestling team broke into the national Top 10 a few weeks into the season and rose as high as No. 9 in the polls by the middle of January before a series of injuries sidelined many of the team’s top-ranked competitors. Regional champion Mike Carpenter, fellow senior Derrick Williams and sophomore Art Hobley all qualified for the NCAA Division II nationals but came up just short of All-America honors.



Author: IA Staff

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