Basketball Bucs have No. 5 Hawks on the ropes but can’t close the deal

Josh Loudin

MORGANTOWN – The No. 12 Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneers were smelling another upset when they took on the No. 5 University Hawks Tuesday night in Morgantown.

The Bucs had the Hawks on the ropes for most of the night, outplaying them in three of the four quarters, but the inability to put away teams crept back into the Bucs’ system as they dropped a 58-55 decision.

The Bucs had built a lead as large as nine points early in the second quarter and still led at the half by four, at 28-24.

They led by as many as 11 in the second half, but were outscored by a 19-10 margin in the final six and half minutes of the contest as they saw their record drop to 6-4 on the season.

The Bucs scored the first six points of the game as Josh Loudin drained two free throws, Ryan Hurst made a baseline jumper and Will McCauley put in a leaner.

The Hawks closed it to 10-8 but Ryan Hurst scored an inside basket to wrap up the first quarter and treat the Bucs to a 12-8 lead.

With Harrison Walker opening the second quarter with a trey and McCauley knocking down a short jumper, the Bucs took a nine-point lead, at 17-8.

University narrowed the lead down to 21-18, but Ryan Hurst responded with a three-pointer, and after a Hawk basket, Hurst hit a baseline jumper to give the Bucs a 26-20 lead with 1:11 left in the half.

B-U took a 28-24 into the locker room with them at the half.

Walker began the second half with a three-pointer, and after a Hawk basket, Loudin went off for six straight points as the Bucs started to pull away with an 11-point lead, at 37-26, with two minutes gone in the third quarter.

With B-U up 39-30, Lamar Hurst had the play of the night as raced into the paint and grabbed a rebound out of the air and slammed it down with one hand to keep the Bucs up by 11, at 41-30.

Despite the play that brought the B-U fans to their feet, University started to chip away at the lead after the Hurst dunk closing the quarter on a 9-2 run.

The Bucs still led by a 43-39 margin going into the final quarter.

Loudin scored on a putback to up the B-U advantage back to six, at 45-39, but UHS once again started to take over the game.

An 8-1 run gave the Hawks their first lead, at 47-46 with 5:12 remaining in the game.

McCauley scored from the paint to give the advantage back to the Bucs, at 50-49, with 3:21 remaining, but it was the last lead the Bucs would own.

The Hawks rattled off the next seven points over the following two minutes as the Bucs got careless with the ball for a 56-50 lead with 1:33 left.

Ryan Hurst uncorked a three-pointer with 1:03 remaining to make it a one possession game, at 56-53.

University ran off some clock as they still were not in the bonus and finally went to the free throw line with 24 seconds left where Ryan Niceler made both shots to give the Hawks a 58-53 lead.

The Bucs struggled to get off a shot and McCauley was fouled after a rebound with two seconds left.

He made both free throws to make it a 58-55 contest, but time ran out on the Bucs as the Hawks inbounded the ball.

Loudin led the Bucs with 16 points and seven rebounds while Ryan Hurst added 14 points and four rebounds.

Blake Barkley scored a game-high 20 points for the Hawks who improved to 8-1 on the year.

The Bucs will return to action tonight at home in a Big 10 Conference game with Philp Barbour. The game will tip at 7:30 p.m.

The boxscore:

Buck.-Upshur       12  16  15  12 – 55

University                8  16  15  19 – 58

Buckhannon-Upshur 55

Josh Loudin 6-8 4-4 16; Ryan Hurst 6-15 0-0 14; Will McCauley 3-5 3-5 9; Harrison Walker 3-7 0-0 8; Lamar Hurst 3-11 0-0 6; Zach White 1-4 0-0 2; Sterlin Thropp 0-1 0-0 0; Noam Keith 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22 -51 7-9 55.

University 58

Blake Barkley 9-13 1-1 20; Ryan NIceler 7-12 2-2 16; Garrison Kisner 5-11 1-1 11; T. T. Brooks 3-9 1-1 7; Aaron Forbes 1-1 2-2 4; Jaden Hammack 0-1 0-0 0; Elijah Jackson 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 25-49 7-7 58.

Three-point field goals – Buckhannon-Upshur: R. Hurst 2-6; Walker 2-3; Thropp 0-1; McCauley 0-1; L. Hurst 0-3. Totals 4-14. University: Barkley 1-2; Jackson 0-2; Brooks 0-3; Kisner 0-4. Totals 1-11.

Rebounds – Buckhannon-Upshur: Loudin 7; McCauley 7; R. Hurst 4; L. Hurst 3; White 3; team 3; Thropp 1; Walker 1; deadball 1. Totals 30; University: Barkley 9; Kisner 4; Forbes 4; Niceler 3; team 2; Hammick 2; Brooks 1. Totals 25.

Assists – Buckhannon-Upshur: Walker 4; R. Hurst 3; McCauley 3; L. Hurst 2; Thropp 1; Loudin 1. Totals 14; University: Jackson 3; Brooks 2; Barkley 1; NIceler 1; Hammick 1; Kisner 1. Totals 9.

Steals – Buckhannon-Upshur: McCauley 4; R. Hurst 2; L. Hurst 2; Loudin 2. Totals 10; University: Jackson 4; Niceler 1; Hammick 1; Kisner 1. Totals 7.

Blocked shots – Buckhannon-Upshur: Loudin 1; White 1. Totals 2; University: Niceler 4; Brooks 1; Barkley 1; Forbes 1. Totals 7.

Turnovers – Buckhannon-Upshur: 14; University 17.

Personal fouls – Buckhannon-Upshur: 9; University: 11.

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