MEC Tournament: Charleston men advance to finals with 76-65 win over Glenville
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The University of Charleston men's basketball team found its way to the Mountain East Conference Tournament championship game.
Saturday's 77-65 semifinal victory over third-seeded Glenville State (18-10) also virtually assured the Golden Eagles of a spot in the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region Tournament. Charleston was fourth in the Atlantic Region rankings. The top eight earn a spot in the regional tournament.
Senior Xavier Humphrey scored 15 points to go over the 1,000-point mark for his career and second-seeded University of Charleston (19-8) earned its seventh victory in the last eight games, advancing to Sunday's 3:30 p.m. MEC championship against the winner of Saturday's late semifinal between top-seeded West Liberty (25-2) and Fairmont (20-9).
"It's great that I got 1,000, but it's better that we're playing for a championship (Sunday)," Humphrey said. "I'll celebrate it for tonight in the hotel and be OK with it, but tomorrow is a new slate."
Humphrey become the 45th player in the history of the University of Charleston and Morris Harvey College to reach the 1,000-point mark for his career. Humphrey, who transferred to Charleston from Marshall prior to his sophomore season, has 1,011 career points.
Guard Denzel Douglas had 14 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and four steals with only one turnover for the Golden Eagles, who have defeated Osborne's former program three times this season. Osborne served as coach at Glenville from 2005-09, finishing a program-best 20-9 in 2009.
"He's such a tough, physical point guard," Osborne said. "He's had some highlight-reel dunks this year. He's physical and on top of that he wants to."
In two MEC Tournament games, Douglas has 25 points, 16 assists, 14 rebounds, five steals and only three turnovers.
"I just wanted to get my team more involved," Douglas said. "It's not all about scoring points. I can let the game come to me and it's more important that we get the win."
The Golden Eagles shot 50.9 percent (28-55) from the floor and were 9-21 from 3-point range.
Glenville was led by Reggie Williams with 16 points, Lamont Cole with 14 and Lamar Mallory with 10. The Pioneers were done in by a 12-0 run early in the second half.
"I think it was because we locked down on D," Humphrey said. "We just said this can't be our last game. We know what we do on the court."
Fred Simpson came off the bench to score 14 points and six rebounds, giving him 30 points and 20 boards in two tournament games.
Aleksander Kesic had 12 points on 5-of-5 shooting and Tino DiTrapano added 11 points.
Despite the loss, Glenville coach Stephen Dye is confident his team has done enough to earn a spot in the regional tournament. The Pioneers are eighth.
"I think we're in," Dye said. "Nothing's final, you never know until the selection show on Sunday. We'll be together when it comes out. I think we've done the work. Extremely nervous. Never been done at Glenville State since we've been Division II. We're trying to make history at Glenville."