Basketball ‘Cats run into hot-shooting Tigers; tumble in non-conference contest, 104-84

West Virginia Wesleyan’s Braeden McGrew lines up a three-point shot in front of Salem’s Jordan Forbes during their non-conference contest Monday night at Rockefeller Center. McGrew scored three points in Wesleyan’s 104-84 setback.

BUCKHANNON – The West Virginia Wesleyan men’s basketball team ran into a red-hot shooting Salem Tiger squad in a 104-84 non-conference setback Monday night at Rockefeller Center.

The Tigers shot 50 percent for the floor and even better from behind the three-point stripe as they hit on 18 of their 32 three-point attempts for a 66.7 percentage.

Luka Petrovic unleashed a three-pointer for Wesleyan to give the Bobcats an early 8-6 lead with 4:15 gone in the game, but it was the only lead Wesleyan enjoyed during the game.

Day Lee put in a lay-up for the ‘Cats to make it a 14-10 game, but Wesleyan simply couldn’t keep up with the hot-shooting Tigers early on.

Salem went on a 10-1 run for a 24-11 lead with 10:42 remaining in the opening half.

Salem pushed their advantage to 17, at 35-18 with 5:48 left in the half.

Wesleyan didn’t go away, however, as they went on a 14-0 run capped by a lay-up by Vicentic that brought the ‘Cats to within three, at 35-32, with three minutes left in the half.

With Wesleyan still down by three, at 38-35, Salem closed the half on a 7-0 run taking a 45-35 advantage at the break.

Wesleyan was never able to get the lead under 10 points in the second half.

Salem pushed their lead to 18, at 77-59, with 9:14 remaining, but Wesleyan trimmed that advantage down to 11 after a three-pointer by Lee, at 80-69, with six minutes left.

The Tigers went on a 12-4 run over the next three minutes as they took an 92-73 lead with three minutes left.

Wesleyan closed it to a 17-point lead following another trey by Lee, at, 98-81, but couldn’t get any closer the final two minutes of the game.

Vicentic had a double-double for the ‘Cats with 20 points and 10 rebounds while Lee contributed 20 points.

Three other ‘Cats reached double digits as Petrovic had 13 and Edward Flohr and Ross Young each scored 10.

Petrovic also had a double-double as he dished out a game-high 11 assists to go with his 10 points.

Salem had three shooters top 20 points.

Shawn Christian tallied 29 points for the Tigers while Jordan Forbes had 26.

It was the season opener for Salem as they improved to 1-0.

Wesleyan dropped to 0-3 heading into Wednesday’s contest with Shepherd.

They will return to action Wednesday when they face Alderson Broaddus in a non-conference game at 7:30 p.m.

The boxscore:

Salem                                45  59 – 104

W. Va. Wesleyan                35  49 – 84

Salem 104

Shawn Christian 9-12 3-4 29, Jordan Forbes 9-13 4-6 26, Ralph Diaz 8-11 2-3 20, Malique Ross 3-8 0-0 7, Scott McGann 3-5 0-0 7, Marko Tutunovic 3-5 3-4 10, Fonz Hale 1-4 2-2 5, Stan Smith 0-2 0-0 0, Aleksa Dobrijevic 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 36-60 14-19 104.

West Virginia Wesleyan 84

Dusan Vicentic 7-13 4-7 20, Daylin Lee 7-15 0-0 20, Luka Petrovic 4-8 2-2 13, Edward Flohr 3-5 1-2 10, Ross Young 4-5 2-5 10, Marcus Larsson  2-4 0-0 6, Braeden McGrew 1-5 0-0 3, Anthony Garcia 0-3 2-4 0, Marvel McGowan 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 28-59 11-20 84.

Three-point field goals – Salem: Christian 8-10, Forbes 4-6, Diaz 2-2, Tutunovic 1-2, McGann 1-3, Ross 1-3, Hale 1-4, Smith 0-2. Totals 18-32; West Virginia Wesleyan: Lee 6-11, Flohr 3-5, Petrovic 3-7, Larsson 2-4, Vicentic 2-6, McGrew 1-5. Totals 17-38.

Rebounds – Salem: Diaz 8, Forbes 6, Ross 5, team 5, Hale 4, McGann 3, Tutunovic 3, Christian 2, Smith 1. Totals 37; West Virginia Wesleyan: Vicentic 10, Petrovic 5, Young 4, Flohr 3, team 3, Lee 2, McGrew 1. Totals 28.

Assists – Salem: Ross 6, Diaz 4, Forbes 3, Christian 3, Hale 2. Totals 18; West Virginia Wesleyan: Petrovic 11, Flohr 4, Lee 3, Vicentic 2, McGrew 2, Larsson 1. Totals 23.

Steals – Tutunovic 5, Forbes 3, Smith 1, Christian 1, Diaz 1, Ross 1. Totals 12; Vicentic 2, Lee 2, Flohr 1, Young 1. Totals 6.

Blocked shots – Salem: Diaz 1; West Virginia Wesleyan: Vicentic 3. Totals 3.

Turnovers – Salem: 16; West Virginia Wesleyan: 15.

Personal fouls – Salem: 18; West Virginia Wesleyan: 18.

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