Beckley, WV: For the first time in four years, the Alice Lloyd College Eagles advanced to River States Conference Tournament play as they earned the right based on their conference regular-season placement. They had the unenviable task of facing the conference’s top-ranked team (NAIA’s 15th ranked club), the West Virginia Tech Mountaineers. Tech demonstrated why they had gained their lofty ranking as they won 108-81.
ALC had played them down to the wire on January 21st before WVT prevailed 88-85 in overtime. This time, the Mountaineers were determined not to let the game remain tight.
From the tipoff, the hosts came ready to play as they rode the long ball to jump out to a 28-17 lead in the first ten minutes. However, sparked by a combined 12 points from guards Noah Young and Blake Smith, ALC went on a 14-6 burst to slice the score to 34-31 at the 6:31 mark.
Unfortunately, Tech spurted off 13 unanswered points to leap ahead 47-31. They would stretch their cushion to 57-39 by intermission.
In the second half, the home club would pull out to a 76-52 advantage with 11:00 remaining. In less than three minutes, the visitors would then roll out an 11-2 run to get within fifteen (78-73) and have a shot to get closer.
However, the West Virginia club would then produce one final run that put the contest out of reach for good.
For the Eagles (13-16), junior guard Young and senior guard Smith led the way with 24 and 22 points respectively. Sophomore guard Chandler Stewart and freshman forward Noah Caudill both contributed 7 points each.
Smith and sophomore center Colyn Sturgill each had 5 rebounds while senior guard Ian Lee and freshman guard Cam Worrix both recorded 3 assists.
Alice Lloyd shot 47% (31-66) from the floor and finished 40% (6-15) from behind the arc. They connected on 92.9% (13-14) from the foul line, and also added 28 rebounds, 12 assists, and 5 steals.
#15 Tech (23-7) was led in scoring by Juvante Hayes with 20 points. His club finished shooting a blazing 60 % (36-60) from the floor and was accurate from deep, finishing at 53.3% (16-30). They shot 80% (20-25) from the foul line, and also added 37 rebounds, 25 assists, and 8 steals.
ALC is off until next Monday, March 2nd when they travel to Oakland City, Indiana for the NCCAA Mideast Regional Tournament. There, they will face the homestanding Mighty Oaks in a semi-final matchup at 8:00 pm (EST). The winner will advance to the championship game scheduled for Tuesday, March 3rd.