Photo attached to article courtesy of Mountain East Conference
WHEELING, W.Va. – After building up an 18-point lead in the first half, Fairmont State found itself in a close battle with West Virginia State on Friday at WesBanco Arena in the final quarterfinal game of the Mountain East Conference basketball tournament.
West Virginia State pulled to within two points with just over seven minutes remaining.
Cole VonHandorf scored on a layup to give the Fighting Falcons a four-point advantage with 6:12 to play, and Fairmont never allowed the Yellowjackets to get closer than that the rest of the way.
Fairmont State held on to win, 95-87, with a second-half performance that was capped off by a reverse slam dunk by Isaiah Sanders in the closing seconds.
Sanders grabbed 22 points and grabbed six rebounds in the win. He was one of three Fairmont State players to finish with 20 or more points.
Dale Bonner led the way with 29 points for the Fighting Falcons, also supplying six assists and five rebounds. VonHandorf added 20 points.
Fairmont State advances to play the University of Charleston — the top seed out of the MEC South Division — on Saturday at 5 p.m.
The winner of that game will play the winner of the other men’s basketball semi-final, between West Liberty and Glenville State, on Sunday in the conference title game.