CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Liberty is used to getting the best out of West Virginia State every year.
After all, the two teams have combined to win the past four West Virginia Conference regular-season titles. Also, either the Hilltoppers or Yellow Jackets have earned the tournament title the past three years and five of the past seven years overall.
State won the tournament title in 2005, '06, and '09, while West Liberty is the back-to-back defending champions
The two teams played each other in the championship game in consecutive years recently, with each claiming a victory over the other. State knocked off West Liberty 108-107 in 2009, while the Hilltoppers returned the favor with a 94-78 win in 2010.
This year, though, has been a much different story between the two rivals.
The Hilltoppers, the third-ranked Division II team in the country, made the trip down to Institute on Thursday and dismantled Coach Bryan Poore's Yellow Jackets 113-74 in front of a quiet crowd of just 546.
It marked the second time this season that West Liberty (19-1, 13-1) has throttled the Yellow Jackets. On Dec. 4, the Hilltoppers embarrassed State 119-59 at home.
In the two regular-season games, West Liberty has outscored State 232-136.
"This has always been a tough place to play for us and everybody else," West Liberty Coach Jim Crutchfield said. "State has good players and a good coach. For us to come down here and separate ourselves by 30 or 40 points, I am really happy about that."