The NCAA Division II women's team at Glenville State traveled to West Liberty on Saturday and got its first loss in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, 101-93. Certainly no shame in that, as the Hilltoppers are one of the top programs in the conference.
And this one was tight throughout. The first 24 minutes featured 14 ties and 14 lead changes until West Liberty (6-2, 4-0) took the lead for good on a three-point play by Jasmin Kiley with about 16 minutes left in the game. The helped ignite a 19-4 run for the home team that pushed the lead to 76-63.
But the Pioneers (6-2, 3-1) rallied, and when Ginny Mills swished a corner 3 with 4:25 remaining, the lead was down to 87-85. Kiley made a 3-pointer on the other end and followed with a layup on the break, and Glenville State couldn't recover.
Kenyona Simmons led the Pioneers with 23 points, Mills added 21, Ashleigh Fossett had 17 and Madison Martin scored 10 in only 12 minutes of run. I hate to see any of my favorite teams lose, particularly one I've gotten to know as well as Glenville State, but coach Bunky Harkleroad's team certainly gave a great effort.
The Pioneers return home for a pair of games this week, beginning with a visit from Charleston (4-2, 1-1) on Monday. Tip is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., and I'm rooting for the home team.