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GSC Hoops Senior Day
February 21, 2014 - Jay Bennett
Although I'll be in Spencer on Saturday night for the 60th annual Little Kanawha Conference Night of Champions, if I had another choice I'd be heading to Gilmer County to take in the Mountain East Conference doubleheader starting at 2 p.m. between West Liberty and host Glenville State.
In the women's game, GSC (23-3, 18-2 MEC) will try to avenge a 107-94 loss to the Hilltoppers (18-8, 15-5) earlier this year. The Pioneers of head man Charles Marshall entered the week ranked No. 9 in the country and held the top spot in the Atlantic Regional.
However, a loss to Wheeling Jesuit came unexpected this week and now the Pioneers need to take care of business and march through the MEC tournament, or hope Gannon loses again at some point, if GSC is to possibly act as the host site for the regional.
Head coach Stephen Dye's GSC club is riding a four-game winning streak, but that will be put to the test today when No. 6 WLU (22-2, 18-2) invades for an expected 4 p.m. tip.
The Hilltoppers won the first game 107-88, but the G-men (16-8, 13-7) only trailed by two possessions midway through the fourth.
"We've found our identity and who we are and we're excited for senior night," said Dye, who noted the Pioneers' ranking of No. 7 in the region is the first time that's happened (being regionally ranked) for the program as a Division II member.
"There's a lot of emotion and the seniors are proud of playing West Liberty again. I'm just really looking forward to watching my guys play."
The GSC men, who will honor seniors Kevin Gray, Lamar Mallory, Lamont Cole and JJ Vazquez, have put forth some solid efforts this year. That includes going 7-3 in games decided by seven points or less, which was something of a bugaboo for Dye's program last year.
After today's twinbill, Glenville State will conclude the regular season with a road trip next Saturday at W.Va. Wesleyan.
"That's exciting for the guys, but we still have a long way to go," Dye said of possibly getting an at-large berth into the regional. "The fact that we are fighting from second to sixth place in the conference is also exciting for this group of guys.
"I'm really happy for the seniors and they've really earned the accolades and the season they are having. I'm proud of the community and Dr. (Peter) Barr (president) and Janet Bailey (athletics director) have been great supporters of these men and I'm just real pleased with the way things are going."
Glenville State's women will have twice as many seniors honored as the men — Ginny Mills, Aesha Peters, Kenyona Simmons, Tiffani Huffman, Ashleigh Fossett, Kenyell Goodson, Jessica Parsons and Tasia Bistow.
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