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Jaden Westfall (33) scored a team-high 20 points for B-U in their loss to Liberty Friday night. (Bobbie Hatcher/My Buckhannon)

Basketball Bucs get outplayed by Liberty in 65-58 upset loss

CLARKSBURG – The Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneers dropped a disappointing 65-58 contest on the road to the Liberty Mountaineers Friday night in Big 10 Conference action.

After trailing for the entire game, Buckhannon-Upshur took a 53-51 lead behind a personal 7-0 run from Jaden Westfall with two minutes left.

Down 51-46, Westfall made two free throws, two technical fouls then turned in an old-fashioned three-pointer to treat the Bucs to the two-point lead.

Things went immediately south for the Bucs right after that as Liberty’s Jimmy Moore unleased a three-pointer to give the lead back to the Mountaineers at 54-53. Then a personal foul and technical foul on the same play allowed Liberty to make three of four free throws and have possession of the ball, which they turned into two more free throws taking a 59-53 advantage with 42 seconds remaining.

A lay-up from Bryson Johnston made it a 59-55 score but Liberty closed out the game at the free throw line ending the contest on a 6-3 run.

“Liberty simply outplayed us,” remarked Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Jason Westfall. “They were ready, and we were not. Liberty head coach (Zakery) Bart had an excellent game plan and they executed it perfectly. We just didn’t seem to have that drive and that is my fault. This one stings after beating North Marion and it hurts”

Liberty shot 56.1 percent for the game and 50 percent from the three-point arc. They also held onto the ball committing just four turnovers.

“We struggled on defense, we couldn’t guard them,” noted Westfall.

The Bucs started the game down 10-4 before a pair of Carter Zuliani baskets sandwiched between a basket by Liberty’s Curtis Holden made it a 12-8 contest and B-U went into the second quarter down by a 14-8 count.

A mini 4-0 run brought the Bucs to within three, at 21-18, with 2:17 left in the opening half after a lay-up from Ian Strader and two free throws from Jaden Westfall. Jevon Westfall ended the half with a three-pointer keeping the Bucs down by just two at the break, at 26-24.

A 5-0 run late in the third quarter brought the Bucs to within one, at 39-38, but Timmy Allman hit a big-three-pointer from the right arc for Liberty at the buzzer giving the Mountaineers a 42-38 advantage going into the final quarter.

B-U was down by as many as seven points in the final quarter before taking the lead on Jaden Westfall’s 7-0 run setting up the finish to the game.

Jaden Westfall had a game-high 20 points to go along with five rebounds. Zuliani added 14 points and nine rebounds.

Holden had 20 points for Liberty, which improved to 6-3 overall and 2-3 in the Big 10.

The Bucs dropped to 6-3 and 3-3 in the Big 10.

The Bucs were slated to host Wheeling Park Saturday afternoon and will be off until Friday when they host East Fairmont at 7:30 p.m.

The boxscore:

Buckhannon-Upshur 8  16  14  20 – 58

Liberty 14  12  16  23 – 65

Buckhannon-Upshur

Jaden Westfall 5-6 10-10 20; Carter Zuliani 7-11 0-2 14; Jerin Westfall 3-7 0-0 8; Ian Strader 4-8 0-2 8; Jevon Westfall 2-2 0-0 6; Bryson Johnston 1-4 0-0 2; Malaki Williams 0-1 0-0 0; Nathaniel Ringer 0-0 0-0 0; Landon Marple 0-1 0-0 0; Brody McDaniels 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-40 10-14 58.

Liberty 65

Conner Holden 4-7 11-14 20; Jenson Dodd 6-12 0-0 12; Jimmy Moore 4-8 0-0 10; Trent Tucker 3-5 0-0 8; Baustin Bowers 3-4 0-0 7; Brock Benedum 2-4 0-0 4; Timmy Allman 1-1 1-2 4; Cooper Floyd 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-41 12-16 65.

Three-point field goals – Buckhannon-Upshur: Jerin Westfall 2-6; Jevon Westfall 2-2; Johnston 0-1; Marple 0-1; Strader 0-1 Totals 4-11; Liberty: Moore 2-3; Tucker 2-2; Allman 1-1; Bowers 1-1; Holden 1-4; Dodd 0-3. Totals 7-14.

Rebounds – Buckhannon-Upshur: Zuliani 9; Jaden Westfall 5; Jerin Westfall 3; Johnston 2; Ringer 2; Strader 2; Jevon Westfall 2; McDaniels 1; Williams 1; team 1. Totals 28; Liberty: Holden 4; Moore 4; team 4; Allman 1; Dodd 1; Tucker 1; deadball 1. Totals 16.

Assists – Buckhannon-Upshur: Jaden Westfall 6; Strader 2;  Jerin Westfall 2; Zuliani 2; Marple 1. Totals 13; Liberty: Dodd 4; Holden 4; Benedum 2; Moore 2. Totals 12.

Steals – Buckhannon-Upshur: Zuliani 1. Totals 1; Liberty: Holden 5; Bowers 2; Dodd 1; Moore 1; Tucker 1. Totals 10.

Blocked shots – Buckhannon-Upshur: Jaden Westfall 2. Totals 2; Liberty: Holden 1. Totals 1.

Turnovers – Buckhannon-Upshur: 15; Liberty: 4.

Fouls – Buckhannon-Upshur: 19; Liberty: 14.

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