WHEELING, W.Va. – Glenville State head coach Kim Stephens said after the game that her team has another gear that they didn’t really show Sunday in the Mountain East Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament title game against Notre Dame College.
The Pioneers certainly didn’t play their best game – at one point in the second quarter having more turnovers than made shots – but they showed glimpses of that gear when they needed to.
Important runs in the second half helped Glenville State close the gap in the third quarter, and then take the lead for good in the fourth, after trailing for most of the first half.
Adversity was how Glenville State started the year, and getting through more adversity in the semi-final and final rounds of the conference tournament is how they end MEC play, winning 80-75 in comeback fashion to claim its third-straight Mountain East Conference tournament title.
“I’m really really proud of this group,” Stephens said. “Because, just a reminder, we were .500 at the beginning of the year. It got low at times. And they’ve done a very very good job of continuing to buy in. I’m not surprised that we’re here. That’s just the type of kids that we have. But I am proud that they just stuck with it.”
Emily Stoller, who scored a team-high 19 points, was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
“For sure give all my credit to my teammates, hyping me up, keeping my head in the game. I seemed to get a little too hype when I hit those 3-pointers. And ‘Z’ especially helped me tonight, come and grabbing my head in the moment. And just my credit all to my teammates,” Stoller said.
Glenville State led 15-9 in the first quarter before going cold shooting-wise. Notre Dame capitalized, gaining a seven-point lead after the first quarter, and the Falcons led by six heading into halftime.
The Pioneers started the third quarter on an 8-2 run, and then ended the period scoring six of the last eight points to pull withing one point heading into the final period.
The Pioneers then tied the game at 58 all on a layup by Ty Armstrong, and followed with a 9-0 run fueled by Stoller to take a 69-62 lead.
Glenville State, which entered the day as the No. 2 Seed in the Atlantic Region, now awaits Sunday night’s selection show to learn if it will host the Region Tournament at the Waco Center.
The top seed Atlantic Region, IUP, did lose on Sunday in the PSAC Conference Tournament title game. That opens the door for the Pioneers to slide into the top spot in the region and host.