Glenville State women advance to MEC championship

CHARLESTON — Julie Bishop’s 3 ignited a 15-2 run to end the first quarter and No. 5 Glenville State punched its ticket to today’s Mountain East Conference title game by handing Fairmont State an 83-69 setback in the tournament semifinals on Saturday afternoon inside the Charleston Civic Center.

MEC Player of the Year Paris McLeod tallied a game-high 23 points and added seven rebounds, four assists and five steals for the Pioneers, who improved to 29-1 and will take on second-seeded Notre Dame at 1 p.m. today.

“It’s an honor to play in the championship game,” said second-year Pioneer head coach Kim Stephens, whose club had key advantages versus FSU in points off turnovers (21-7), fast break points (14-0) and bench points (32-17). “I’m proud. A lot of people don’t get the opportunity to ever be in a championship game so we’re blessed and we’re fortunate to have even got here.

“Obviously, our goal is to win and that’s been our goal since day one. They’ve worked incredibly hard all year. We’re senior heavy and I think they deserve it. I want this so badly for this team. I want them to be able to experience that moment because I think that they deserve that.”

The Falcons, who trailed 44-29 at intermission, had a 13-12 lead in the opening period before Bishop’s bomb started the key spurt and allowed GSC to grab a 27-15 advantage after one.

Emily Stoller came off the GSC bench to score 15 points. Kristin DesRocher finished with 10, Bishop had eight markers and Maya Horne seven. Abby Stoller pitched in four points and seven boards for the Pioneers, who went just 9 of 40 from deep.

Fairmont State, which ended its campaign at 16-14, was led in scoring by Sierra Kotchman (21) and Kelli Jo Harrison (17). Harrison finished a rebound shy of a double-double.

Former Parkersburg Big Red Brooke Kurucz tallied nine points and added nine rebounds and seven assists in the setback.