BUCKHANNON – Fairmont State women’s basketball scored the first 13 points of the evening on Tuesday as they faced Mountain East Conference rival West Virginia Wesleyan — and that was just in the first four minutes of play.

By the time the first frame came to an end at the Rockefeller Center on the Wesleyan campus, the Falcons would own a 22-point lead. Just a few minutes later, it would be up to 30. In the end, the early explosion from Fairmont was too much for the Bobcats to overcome as they would cruise to a 94-60 victory — the win is the second in conference play for the Falcons this season.

“We came out with a lot of energy, and we feed off that — we feed off positivity as a whole. That’s how we’re going to take care of teams,” said Fairmont junior Presley Tuttle.

“We were playing really well, moving the ball, and playing really good defense. Like Presley said, we feed off each other. One person hits a shot, next time down the floor we’ll get a stop on defense, and that’ll lead to another big shot — it’s just how we play,” said junior Sierra Kotchman.

The Falcons’ early run was sparked by an impressive shooting performance, as they would shoot 75 percent from the field in the first 10 minutes of play, converting four three-pointers. Led by Kotchman and Tuttle — who would combine for 47 points on the evening — the Fairmont offense would prove why they’re one of the most dangerous teams from the field in the MEC this season.

“Presley was on fire tonight, and she played one heck of a game tonight. We have a ton of talented shooters on this team, so whenever we’re open we’re going to shoot it and feel confident. Coach Anderson gives us the green light,” Kotchman said.

“It’s exciting, and it’s dangerous for other teams — we have multiple kids who can fill the stat sheet. That’s awesome, and it’s a good problem to have as a coach,” said Fairmont State head coach Stephanie Anderson.

While Fairmont State was powered by strong performances from both Kotchman and Tuttle, it was Tuttle’s performance that perhaps was most impressive — in just 25 minutes of play coming off the bench, she would record a career-high 25 points to lead all scorers, while also tallying six rebounds and four steals.

“Every day in practice I try to grow a little individually, so each time I come off the bench I can still provide that spark and produce in a way my team needs me to. Each week I grow and learn from my mistakes, and it feels pretty good to see it pay off,” Tuttle said.

“I’ll echo this all year, but she plays harder than anyone you’ll meet, and that’s what enables her to have so much success. She’s growing more confidence, which she should be. She works hard, and I’m just excited to see what else happens with her this season,” Anderson said.

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