The Times West Virginian

February 11, 2014

Red-hot GSC rolls past Lady Falcons: PHOTOS

By Duane Cochran
For the Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — Tenth-ranked Glenville State employed its somewhat unique style of up-tempo and pressure basketball to near perfection here Monday evening at the Joe Retton Arena and as a result rolled to a 115-101 victory over Fairmont State.

The league-leading Lady Pioneers, who improved to 21-2 overall and to 16-1 in the Mountain East Conference, ran their current winning streak to eight with the victory.

Glenville, which leads the country in scoring and turnover margin, showed why last night. The aggressive, trapping Lady Pioneers forced a season-high 29 Fairmont State turnovers and scored a whopping 48 points off of those miscues. GSC had just eight turnovers itself in the win.

“We know they’re a fast team and that’s the way they wanted us to play and I think we kind of fell into that mold tonight,” said FSU’s Hallie Gunnoe, who along with teammate Hailey Garrett led the Lady Falcons with 22 points apiece. “We were a little out of control at times and because of that I feel like this loss is on us.

“We know we can play with them and we did play with them, but we gave them way too many points off of turnovers and didn’t execute properly ourselves on offense when we had chances.”

The contest was close for the first 15 minutes, but late in the first half Glenville turned up its intensity, forced a number of FSU turnovers and made the Lady Falcons pay for those by turning them into points. In the final 5:25 of the opening half GSC outscored Fairmont 19-12 to open a 59-46 lead at the break.

In the second half Glenville extended its advantage to 18 twice around the 13:26 mark before FSU rallied and cut it back to 12 and had a chance to make it 10 before turning it over yet again. After that GSC exploded on a 13-3 run to take a 22-point lead and the contest was never really close again.

“We were pleading with our team to slow it down a lot,” said FSU coach Steve McDonald, whose squad fell to 12-7 overall and to 10-6 in the league with the loss. “The way we want to play against them is we want to attack, but play under control. I always ask our players when is basketball should you play out of control? The answer is never and I thought we were out of control consistently tonight.

“I think this was a classic case of doing it your own way and not adjusting at halftime in terms of doing the things we’re supposed to do so as a result we never, ever were actually in the game. Once they made that run at the end of the half I never really felt like we threatened them. They’re a very good team.”

The Lady Falcons also gave up a season-high 16 3-point field goals to Glenville, which connected on 16-of-37 shots from behind the arc (43.2 percent). Ginny Mills led the Lady Pioneers with 25 points, 21 of which came off of seven 3-pointers.

GSC had seven players finish in double figures in the scoring column. Tiffani Huffman finished with 16 points, Kenyona Simmons and Ashleigh Fossett both chipped in 14 points apiece, Kenyell Goodson scored 12, Briauna Nix contributed 11 and Keyanna Tate ended up with 10.

Joining Garrett and Gunnoe in double figures for Fairmont were Brianna Innocent (16), Dedira Combs (14) and Makenzie White (12). Both Garrett and Innocent recorded double-doubles in the loss. Innocent grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds, while Garrett pulled down 12.

FSU shot 55.6 percent from the field (40-of-72) in the loss and out-rebounded the Lady Pioneers by 13 but in the end the costly turnovers helped decide the outcome.

Fairmont State, which has seven wins in its last nine outings, will try to get back on track Thursday night when it visits Wheeling Jesuit for a 5:30 p.m. MEC contest.