No. 3 Fairmont State 71,
No. 2 West Liberty 63
CHARLESTON - Third-seeded Fairmont State connected on its free throws down the stretch on Friday, earning a spot in the WVIAC championship with a 71-63 win over No. 2 West Liberty.
The Falcons took an early 8-3 lead on a layup by Hailey Garrett. The Hilltoppers countered with a 15-1 spurt thanks in part to stellar shooting by Hillary Southworth. Liz Flowers and Meghan Wiseman also hit foul shots during the runt.
FSU quickly countered with a 10-0 run of its own as Garrett connected for a three-point play and Hallie Gunnoe drilled a 3.
The teams battled back-and-forth the rest of the half as the score was tied at 24 with 3:04 to play. Gunnoe hit a 3-pointer and Briana Welch sliced through the lane for a layup, making it 29-24. Southworth quickly drilled a 3 of her own before Kaitlin Snyder's jumper with four seconds left on the clock made it 31-27 at the break.
WLU took a 36-35 lead with a 6-0 run early in the second frame, but neither team would lead by more than four for much of the half. Trailing 52-51, Garrett and Snyder hit back-to-back jumpers for a 55-52 advantage. WLU pulled within one on a jumper by Emily Blevins, but it was as close as the Hilltoppers got the rest of the way.
After a steal, Tiffany Nicholson was fouled and sank both free throws for FSU with 2:19 to go. Flowers pulled WLU within three with two charity tosses at the 1:13 mark, but Snyder made seven free throws in the last 67 seconds to secure the win.
The Falcons were led by Snyder's team-high 20 points, four assists and four steals. Garrett posted 15 points and 11 rebounds while Welch contributed 13 markers. Gunnoe added 11 points and eight boards while Nicholson notched 10 points, eight boards, four assists and four steals.
No. 5 Seton Hill 61,
No. 9 Charleston 49
CHARLESTON - Katie Gattuso had a double-double of 18 points and 15 rebounds while Paige Alviani led all scorers with 19 points as Seton Hill knocked off Charleston, 61-49, to advance to the WVIAC title game set for 1 p.m. today.
The Golden Eagles, who shot just 27.3 percent from the field, trailed 30-19 at intermission.
Jessie Cowen led UC with a team-high 14 points while LeAnne Ross scored a baker's dozen and added two steals. Golden Eagle Chrissy Keir had a game-high seven assists.
Mallory Sanner chipped in nine points and eight rebounds in only 16 minutes for SHU, which also received seven points, five boards, four steals and three assists from Tiara Stossel.
No. 2 Fairmont State 75,
No. 3 Alderson-Broaddus 74 (OT)
CHARLESTON - Isaac Thornton's free throw with nine-tenths of a second left in overtime lifted No. 2 seed Fairmont State past third-seeded Alderson-Broaddus, 75-74, in the first WVIAC semifinal.
Brendan Cooper tossed in a game-high 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds for FSU. Malik Stith added 17 points and Thornton chipped in 14 markers and dished out five assists for the Falcons. Chase Morgan and Stevie Browning finished with nine and eight points, respectively, for the victors.
Casey Ainslie paced the Battler scoring attack with 14 points. Adam Kline had a double-double of 14 points and a game-high 10 caroms. Kurklin Bohanon contributed 12 points and nine rebounds. Malcolm Tatum had 12 points and six assists while A-B teammate Roy Brown finished with 10 counters.
West Liberty 92, Wheeling Jesuit 73
CHARLESTON - After trailing by 21 at halftime, Wheeling Jesuit's Joe Prati hit a 3 with 2:39 to go to bring the Cardinals within eight at 81-73, but top-seeded West Liberty tallied the game's final 11 points en route to a 92-73 WVIAC semifinal triumph.
The Hilltoppers shot 60 percent from the floor in the first half and that included canning 10 of 20 from downtown for a 54-33 cushion at the break.
Alex Falk was 9 of 18 from the field and led all point-producers with 25 for WLU, which also got double figure scoring efforts from Shawn Dyer (19), Tim Hausfeld (14) and CJ Hester (14). Hester grabbed a game-high 12 boards to finish with the lone double-double. Chris Morrow chipped in nine points, seven boards, five assists and two blocks for the Hilltoppers.
No. 4 seed Wheeling Jesuit, which missed 17 of 22 from 3-point land, had a quartet of players crack double figures thanks to Justin Fritts (16), Ben Siefert (14), Prati (13) and Eric Siefert (11).
The last WVIAC men's title tilt is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. tip.