The Hilltoppers own a 123-3 record over the past four seasons when holding teams under 100 points and also lead the country in shooting percentage this season at 52.4. Warriors' opponents shoot only 40.2 percent on the season.
"Across the board they're a little different than most teams,'' West Liberty coach Jim Crutchfield said to The Intelligencer. "They're kind of like us except they don't shoot it quite as well as we do percentage-wise, because they have a lot of guys that shoot 3s. To control their All-American inside 1-on-1 will be very difficult to do.
"All the way across the board, even their bigs are good ballhandlers and good passers. I was watching how comfortable they are in a half-court set, because they didn't get pressed a lot. That's something that I am looking for, how good is this guy going to be with the ball? We played Bowie State, similar size, but watching on tapes I could see they had some guys that weren't very comfortable with the ball. These guys are. They're good with the ball.''
The survivor between the Hilltoppers and Warriors takes on the winner between No. 3-ranked Metro State (30-2) and Franklin Pierce (24-8) in the national semifinals at noon Saturday in Freedom Hall. The title game is set for Sunday, April 7, in Atlanta.
The other quarterfinal games today in Louisville find No. 4 Western Washington (30-2) against No. 8 Florida Southern (27-5) at 6 p.m., followed by No. 7 Drury (28-4) and No. 20 South Carolina-Aiken (25-7) at 8:30.
West Liberty's only blemish this season was a 101-96 loss at the University of Charleston on Jan. 14. Winona State dropped four of its final eight games in the regular season, but avenged one of its regular-season setbacks in the Central Region finals with a 76-73 overtime victory against Minnesota State-Mankato.
The Hilltoppers downed No. 10 Indiana (Pa.) 86-63 in the Atlantic Regional championship game held March 19 on their home floor. Neither team has played in nine days.