Something’s got to give Saturday afternoon at the Wehrle Innovation Center.
West Liberty brings the Mountain East Conference’s top offense to the University of Charleston campus, where it will run into the league’s best defense. Tipoff is set for 4:30 p.m.
The Hilltoppers average nearly 107 points per game, a figure that leads the conference by more than 11 points. UC allows only 69 points per game, best in the MEC by five-plus points.
The two teams are battling for supremacy in their respective divisions, as the Hilltoppers (4-2) stand second in the MEC North, while the Golden Eagles (5-2) hold down third in the MEC South. WL is ranked No. 9 nationally in Division II and UC sports a five-game winning streak.
West Liberty’s duo of Pat Robinson (21.8 points per game) and Dalton Bolon (19.0) both rank in the top 10 in MEC scoring. Charleston’s attack is led by low post Lamont McManus (13.5). The Golden Eagles, also the best-shooting team in the league (50.1% on all field goals) regularly employ 10 players and divide their floor minutes accordingly.
Also of note, the Hilltoppers hold the MEC’s top turnover ratio, forcing opponents into 21.4 turnovers per game. UC is the conference’s fourth-best team at avoiding turnovers (13.7).
The Kanawha Valley’s other MEC men’s game on Saturday was postponed — Wheeling (0-4) at streaking West Virginia State (6-1), which has won six in a row following Wednesday’s 100-96 triumph at West Liberty, the Yellow Jackets’ first win there in nearly 15 years.
State’s next scheduled game is Wednesday at Frostburg State (2-4). The Jackets’ first showdown against UC is set for Wednesday, Feb. 10 at the Wehrle Center.
A pair of MEC women’s games involving Kanawha Valley schools are scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday — West Liberty (2-5) at UC (7-0) and Wheeling (3-2) at State (4-3), which has taken four in a row.