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Falcons Play Griffins For WVIAC Title

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Fairmont State will play in its first WVIAC tournament championship game since the team won it in 2010, an 85-78 overtime victory against West Liberty.

Fans can listen to the game live on Live stats will be provided by The game will be broadcast live on ROOT Sports Pittsburgh.

The winner of Saturday's final will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Fairmont State has made three other NCAA Tournament appearances in school history with the last coming in 2010 when it won the conference tournament championship.

Fairmont State (22-9), the third seed in the WVIAC Tournament, advanced to the finals by defeating West Liberty in the quarterfinal round on Friday afternoon. The Falcons limited WLU to just three field goals in the final six minutes and hit key free throws down the stretch to top the Hilltoppers, 71-63.

Seton Hill (19-12) advanced to the championship game by hitting 55 percent of its three-point shots and out-rebounding Charleston by 12. First team All-WVIAC performers Paige Alviani (19) and Katie Guttuso (18) led the Griffins in scoring.

Fairmont State swept the season series against the Griffins, however the Falcons won each game by just a single point.

Falcon WVIAC Tournament Notes
• Head Coach Steve McDonald is 18-8 all-time at the WVIAC Tournament. He directed the Falcons to the conference tournament championship in 2008 and 2010.
• Fairmont State has won just one other conference tournament title in school history (1984).
• Fairmont State is 43-33 all-time in WVIAC Tournament play.
• FSU has three players on its roster that were a member of the 2010 championship team: Kaitlin Snyder, Alana George and Tiffany Nicholson.
• Head coach Steve McDonald is 3-0 in WVIAC Tournament semifinal games. The last two times the team advanced past the semifinal it has won the conference tournament.
• Coach McDonald is 2-0 in WVIAC Tournament championship games.

• Kaitlin Snyder became just the 12th player in WVIAC history to score over 2,000 points during the WVIAC Quarterfinal game against WV Wesleyan. Snyder is just the second player in school history to score over 2,000 points.
• With 2,028 career points, Snyder is in 11th place on the conference scoring list. She trails Kristen Gattuso by 14 points for the school's scoring lead.
• Fairmont State has the second-rated defense in the WVIAC allowing just 62.0 points per game. Seton Hill is also staunch defensively ranking third in the league with 67 points per game.
• The Falcons have held their last two of their last three opponents to under 32 percent shooting.
• Saturday's game will feature two of the more active players in Katie Gattuso and Hailey Garrett. Gattuso has the most double-doubles in the league with 21, and Garrett is second in the league with 13 double-doubles. Each player registered double-doubles in their semifinal game.
• The Falcons are 10-3 in games that Hailey Garrett has a double-double.
• The Feb. 21 victory over Seton Hill was the first win of the Falcons current six-game winning streak.
• Three different players have led Fairmont State in scoring in each of the last four games.
• Fairmont State’s has had 20 games decided by 10 points or less this season. FSU is 13-7 in those games. The Falcons are 2-0 when being tied entering the final minute of play.
• Nearly half of Hailey Garrett’s rebounds come on the offensive end. She ranks fourth in the league in offensive rebounds per game (3.40).
• FSU is 12-2 when Tiffany Nicholson scores in double figures.

This Season vs. Seton Hill
• Fairmont State won both meetings against Seton Hill this year, but each victory was by a single point. The Falcons won at home, 59-58, and picked up a 72-71 win on the road.
• Kaitlin Snyder hit the game-winning jumper with 8.8 seconds left and then came up with a defensive stop on the other end to lead Fairmont State to a 59-58 win over the Griffins on Jan. 7 in Fairmont. Snyder finished the game with 28 points and nine rebounds. Hailey Garrett added 12 points and nine rebounds. Seton Hill was led by 21 points and 10 rebounds from Katie Gattuso.
• Fairmont State led 44-31 after 20 minutes of play and went on to hold off Seton Hill, 72-71, on Feb. 21 in Greensburg. Briana Welch led the Falcons with 16 points and Emily Lohr added 15 for FSU. Hailey Garrett and Kaitlin Snyder each contributed 14 points apiece. SHU was led 21 points from Paige Alviani. Katie Gattuso added a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds.

SHU/FSU Series Notes
• Fairmont State leads the all-time series between the two schools, 10-4.
• Fairmont State has won three in a row against the Griffins. However, those three victories came by a total of five points.
• Seton Hill's last win in the series came in 2011 when the Griffins defeated Fairmont State, 67-56.
• Fairmont State and Seton Hill have never met in the WVIAC Tournament.
• Kaitlin Snyder is averaging 17.8 points per game for her career in six games against Seton Hill. Hailey Garrett is averaging 15.7 points and 9.7 rebounds in her three career meetings against the Griffins.
• SHU's Paige Alviani is averaging 15.5 points in four career games against Fairmont State. Katie Gattuso is averaging 16.3 points and 8.7 rebounds in three career games against the Falcons.