Glenville State downs Notre Dame College in MEC quarterfinal
Pioneers in semis for first time since 2015
WHEELING — All season long Glenville State’s big three, John Williams, Hegel Augustin and Nick Edwards, have produced for the Pioneers and the results, for the most part, have been very positive.
Friday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the Mountain East Conference Tournament at WesBanco Arena that trio of Pioneers delivered again accounting for 66 of Glenville’s 83 points and 36 of the Pioneers’ 46 rebounds to help lead their team to an 83-68 victory over Notre Dame College.
Williams, a junior guard, poured in a game-high 31 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, dished out five assists and had a pair of blocks. Augustin, a senior guard, finished with 19 points, a game-high 16 rebounds, four assists and three steals, while Edwards, a junior guard, chipped in 16 points and seven boards.
“It’s fun playing together,” Williams said. “Everyone on the team looks up to us three and expects a lot from us three. We lead by example. If we’re playing hard, then the whole team is going to play hard, but if we’re down I feel like the whole team is going to be down. Our mindset is to start is to start off early with a lot of energy to set the tone for others and get them to follow us.
“We trust our teammates. We’ll find them and we know they can knock down shots too. It’s fun playing that way. Today, things clicked for us.”
The victory improved Glenville State to 9-3 on the year and puts the Pioneers in Saturday’s semifinals at 8 p.m. versus West Liberty.
NDC (8-9) junior guard Jordan Roland had a team-high 25 points.
After a back-and-forth first 17 minutes, which saw seven lead changes and five ties, the Pioneers exploded on a 10-2 run in the final 2:53 to open a 43-32 halftime lead.
In the first four minutes of the second half Glenville extended the margin to 14 before Notre Dame rallied and made it a two-point contest twice around the eight-minute mark.
Pioneer coach Justin Caldwell, whose team only played its third game Friday since Feb. 8, said striving for more consistency and being aggressive after the Falcons closed to within two helped his squad reestablish control of the contest.
“It’s a game of runs. We talk about that all of the time,” Caldwell said.
“Rust has something to do with it as well. We go through spurts in games where we’re hot and cold and hot and cold. They went to a little bit of that 1-2-2 trap at half court and we were sort of stagnant instead of attacking it to score.
“We called a timeout, said you’ve got to get someone to the middle of the floor. We told them be aggressive. That’s the way we play. If teams press us we need to punish them when they do that and that’s what we got back to doing.”
After Notre Dame pulled within two at 63-61, Glenville closed out the game’s final eight minutes with a 20-7 run to post the 15-point win. No less than 15 of the Pioneers’ final 20 points came from Edwards, Augustin and Williams.
Notre Dame got 13 points from Tyland Crawford, nine points from John Godinez and eight points and eight rebounds from Michael Sampson.
Glenville State will be making its first semifinal round appearance in the tournament since 2015 when the Pioneers claimed their first and only Mountain East Conference Tournament championship.