Fairmont State blitzes OVU

VIENNA – Fairmont State University used pressure defense to pick up a West Virginia Conference doubleheader basketball sweep here Saturday afternoon versus host Ohio Valley University inside the Snyder Activity Center.

In the opener, the FSU (7-3, 5-1) women went from holding a slight 13-12 cushion to a huge 38-16 halftime advantage en route to an easy 68-46 victory as the Fighting Scots were saddled with their 10th straight loss to open the campaign and sixth in the WVIAC.

Ohio Valley’s men, who were charged with 26 turnovers compared to the women’s squad turning it over 30 times, had things even early at seven apiece before FSU (7-3, 5-1) rattled off 25 straight points to win going away, 84-54.

* OVU’s women, who return to action at 5:30 p.m. Monday inside the SAC versus Concord, received a pair of double-doubles in the setback. Pivot Jasmine Gibson came off the bench and scored a game-high 20 points. She also added 11 boards and five blocked shots. Fighting Scot Kayla Parsley tallied 10 points and pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds while adding three steals, a trio of blocks and two assists.

Ohio Valley scored the first two buckets of the contest thanks to a Parsley deuce from a Tara Benedict assist and then a Shelby Way steal and layup at the 16:30 mark. However, after Parsley hit a foul shot to get OVU within one at 13-12 with 8:22 left in the first half, Fairmont State finished the half on a 25-4 surge.

Hallie Gunnoe, who had nine points, six caroms and five assists, drilled a 3-pointer with 0:50 to play in the opening half as FSU took its first 20-point advantage at 36-16. Tiffany Nicholson’s steal and assist to Briana Welch for an easy lay-in closed the first-half scoring.

Hailey Garrett led the visitors with a team-high 16 points. Welch chipped in 14 and Kaitlin Snyder added a dozen. Nicholson only scored eight points, but had six caroms, six steals and four assists.

* Seven straight points by Osvaldas Gaizauskas, which included a 3 as well as a hanging over the head reverse lay-in from a David Sinickas pass just in front of the rim, squared the contest at seven just 4:47 after the opening tip.

After that, though, the Fighting Falcons soared past the hosts causing turnover after turnover and getting easy buckets. Aside from scoring 25 straight and actually going on a 35-2 barrage at one point, FSU held Ohio Valley without a field goal for 13:27. The 0 for 15 stretch was finally snapped by a Jerry Macon Jr. driving lay-in.

Isaac Thornton scored two of his 13 markers on a two-handed dunk that made the score 34-8 with 6:45 left before halftime. Prior to that, Ke’Chaun Lewis threw down a one-handed jam thanks to an assist from Ty Garrison. OVU (2-10, 1-5) trailed 43-13 at the break.

Gaizauskas, who finished with 13 points and 11 boards, stuffed one home a mere 1:15 into the second half from a Mustafa Helal pass, but OVU still trailed 45-17. Ashton Brown finished with a game-high 18 points for OVU, which missed 14 of 15 from downtown. The OVU women missed 16 of 17 from beyond the arc.

Fairmont State, now 7-3 overall and 5-1 in the WVIAC, still held a 28-point cushion with 6:11 to play at 74-46 when Melvin Rhodes went from the top of the key to the right block and flushed one through the cylinder in front of an excited Fighting Falcon bench.

Chase Morgan led the visitors with a team-high 14 points in just 15 minutes of action.