FAIRMONT, W.Va. – People in the Friendly City, Fairmont State students and alums, and especially the Fighting Falcons men’s basketball program, can party like it’s 1984 all over again.
Fairmont State has claimed a conference tournament championship for the first time in 37 years.
And it was anything but easy.
Fairmont State led by as many as 17 points over No. 19 West Liberty in this game, but the Hilltoppers always managed to stay within striking distance.
The Hilltoppers cut the Fairmont lead to as little as one.
But Tim Koenig’s group did what Glenville State wasn’t able to do less than 24 hours prior – fully defend the lead.
Zyon Dobbs sank the final free throw to give Fairmont State a three-point lead, and West Liberty’s three-quarter-court shot fell short.
Fairmont State prevailed, 102-99, to claim its first conference title since Dave Cooper coached the Fighting Falcons to a conference title over West Virginia State in 1984.
Dale Bonner led the way with 34 points. Isaiah Sanders added 25, and Cole VonHandorf supplied 17.
Dobbs added nine points, and Seth Younkin scored ten points, two of which came on this monster dunk.
Fairmont State, with the win, earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The regional tournament that the Falcons will play in next will be held on West Liberty’s campus.