GLENVILLE, W.Va. – John Williams, the Mountain East Conference’s leading scorer, did practically whatever he wanted in the first half of Friday afternoon’s MEC showdown in the Waco Center.
Williams had 23 points at halftime, and was a big reason the Pioneers were up late in the first half.
The combination of Cole VonHandorf, Dale Bonner and Isaiah Sanders kept Williams in check for much of the second half, and the Falcons’ defense as a whole stepped up after halftime.
After a Nick Edwards three pointer gave the Pioneers a nine-point lead, 75-66, Tim Koenig’s defense tightened up. Fairmont State held Glenville State scoreless for nearly four minutes at one point in the second half, and the Fighting Falcons outscored the Pioneers 34-14 over the final nine minutes of the game.
With the defense leading the way, and Isaiah Sanders adding a team-high 28 points, Fairmont State pulled off the comeback, road victory, 100-89.
“The past two losses I just feel like, as a team, we all feel like we didn’t give our 100 percent effort, so that’s was all what today was about. Effort. That was a prime example of it right there,” said Sanders when asked about his two blocks in the second half that swatted away potential three-point baskets. “It was defense. We just kept our composure. We stayed together, talked, made adjustments at media timeouts, things like that. Just played the right way, played our game.”
Sanders tallied 28 points, six rebounds and two blocks Friday.
Williams scored a game-high 31 points to raise his season average.
Friday was Glenville State’s first game since Feb. 8, and comes after a college-mandated one-week pause of all Pioneers athletics teams.