The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

November 6, 2011

Drungys means defense as MSU overcomes Glenville

BECKLEY — The gauntlet was thrown down and Mountain State’s Mantas Drungys picked it up and put it on, wearing it like a badge of honor.

MSU coach Bob Bolen was tired of seeing freshman Andy Dollman shred his defense with an outside arsenal that included five three pointers (and 15 total points) in the Cougars game with Glenville State Saturday at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention.

So he simply told Drungys, “Get No. 11 (Dollman).”

At the time, MSU was tailing the Pioneers 52-44 after Dollman had drilled the Cougars for his fourth and fifth 3s around a pair of Devon Peterson free throws with 13:56 remaining.

Drungys did that.

He stuck to Dollman like glue – the Vienna native did not score again — and even added nine rebounds on the day as the Cougars stormed from behind and won 73-68.

“He had made some threes and coach told me to stop him,” Drungys said. “That was my challenge. He didn’t make any more threes. I just went out there with the mindset to do whatever I could to make sure he was stopped.”

“It wasn’t so much when I had the ball, but when I didn’t he pretty much stuck to me and I guess he suffocated me, you could say,” Dollman said.

In the meantime, MSU picked it up on the offensive end.

And Drungys, point guard Mark Williams and wing Cam Miller were in the middle of a 12-2 run that gave MSU the lead with 10:34 remaining.

It started innocently , with a free throw, but Williams hit a shot followed by a Drungys drive that made it 52-49.

Kevin Gray momentarily stopped the bleeding with a pair of free throws, but Miller hit a basket and then Drungys grabbed a board and led the break that ended with a Williams three. Isaiah Hill’s stickback finished it off.

MSU outrebounded the Pioneers 27-17 in the second half, 13 on the offensive end.

“When you get outrebounded like that you’re getting outplayed,” said Glenville State coach Stephen Dye, a former Marsh Fork star. “They smacked us in the mouth in the second half and we didn’t respond. That is disappointing.”

Bolen didn’t think the first half — which ended with the Cougars trailing 39-32 — was a hangover from MSU’s big win over Division I Morehead State Thursday.

“Maybe our guys just didn’t expect it to be that physical,” Bolen said. “We told them that Friday. They have 13 new players and a great coaching staff. I am pleased that we were able to win a game physical, tough game like this.”

Former WVU standouts Joe Mazzulla and Rob Summers, along with Oak Hill native Bill Lilly are Dye’s assistants.

Williams led the Cougars with 22 points and eight assists.

“It was a great win,” Williams said. “We weren’t concerned at the half because we hadn’t played well. Now, if we would have trailed seven and we had played well in the first half, that would have been a different story.”

The game was tied at 56 and 58 before MSU went ahead by as many as 10, 70-60.

Glenville State cut it to 70-66, but down the stretch MSU made 3-of-4 free throws to seal the game.

MSU (3-0) will take on Davis & Elkins Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.

— E-mail: demorrison@

register-herald.com

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