West Liberty returns to Sweet 16 with 82-63 win over Charleston

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Liberty has advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the ninth time in the last 11 seasons. The Hilltoppers, seeded third in the Atlantic Regional tourney, defeated Charleston 82-63 Sunday night to move on to Tuesday’s regional championship game.

Pat Robinson led the Hilltoppers (17-4) with 32 points and 10 rebounds. Dalton Bolon scored 16 points and grabbed 10 boards while Owen Hazelbaker chipped in with 11 points.

“Our guys kind of had this one circled after (Charleston) got us on their home court early this year,” West Liberty head coach Ben Howlett said. “That’s probably the best halfcourt defense we’ve played all year.”

Lamont McManus paced the Golden Eagles (14-4) with 22 points and Keith Williams scored 11.

The Hilltoppers will host top-seeded Hillsdale (21-2) Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Atlantic Region championship game. Hillsdale defeated No. 5 Mercyhurst 67-48 in Sunday’s second regional semifinal. Tuesday’s winner will advance to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight.

“We’re extremely excited to have the opportunity to play for a regional championship again,” Howlett said. “We told our guys in the locker room after tonight that we’re one game away from Evansville. This was a really good win.”

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