Demons find their shooting touch in win at West Liberty
WEST LIBERTY — Washington had its best offensive performance of the season on Tuesday night at West Liberty, and the Demons came home with a 65-57 win to show for it.
The Demons had struggled to shoot the basketball during their 2-9 start, making just 29.9 percent of their shots from the field. But Washington shot a season-best 48 percent (24-for-50) from the field on Tuesday night and scored a season-high 65 points.
“We hadn’t shot it very well [this season],” Washington head coach Bryce Smeins said. “I just thought we shared the ball well. We passed the ball really well and got a lot of easy shots inside. And we still had a good defensive performance, holding them in the 50s. When you do that, you should be able to win.”
West Liberty (8-5) jumped out to a 9-2 lead to start the game, but Washington came back to take a 16-15 lead after one quarter of play. The Demons stretched that lead to 10 points by the halftime break.
“We got some really good looks and knocked down some threes,” Smeins said of the second quarter. “We had five threes in the first half, and they might have all been in the second quarter. We just shot it well in the second quarter. We did a good job of running the offense and sharing the basketball.”
Washington maintained its lead in the second half, leading by eight after three quarters and eight when the final buzzer sounded.
Senior Justin Hoffman scored a career-high 20 points to lead the Demons, and senior Kyle Roder added 17 points and three assists. Sophomore Thomas Bump scored a career-high 13 points, and he also had five rebounds and three assists.
Smeins said the road victory will give the Demons a boost of confidence before they host Fairfield for a Southeast Conference game on Friday.
“It’s a good road win for us, and it will give us some momentum going into our battle with Fairfield on Friday night,” he said.
The Trojans (3-9) have won two of its last four games and defeated the Demons 43-38 in Fairfield on Dec. 7.
“It won’t be easy by any stretch of the imagination,” Smeins said. “They beat us down there and they played Mt. Pleasant tough and beat Mid-Prairie.”