BUCKHANNON — The West Virginia Wesleyan College men’s basketball team (1-9, 0-6 MEC) saw their early season struggles continue at the home Rockefeller Center last Saturday night, losing to the Notre Dame Falcons (7-2, 5-1 MEC) by a final score of 71-58.
The Falcons got off to a quick lead on the back of a 12-4 run to start the game. Two redshirt freshmen, Anthony Craven Jr. and Jayden Hibbett, carried the Bobcats offensively, combining for 14 of the team’s first 16 points to keep them in the game with their aggressive play on that end. The men’s team trailed by only 4, down 23-19 with just over ten minutes to play in the first half before the Falcon ripped off another big run over the next four minutes to establish a lead they would hold until halftime. Going into the locker-room the Bobcats found themselves facing a 12-point deficit, down 41-29.
Both teams exchanged a flurry of baskets to open the second half. Local product, redshirt freshman sharpshooter Shawn Moran, narrowed the lead to 10 with a deep three. Hibbitt hit a jumper to cut the lead to single digits, but the Falcons found an answer to build their lead back to double digits. In the end, despite playing much better offensively in the second half, the Bobcats couldn’t overcome the Falcons, losing 71-58.
Hibbitt strung together another stellar offensive outing for the Bobcats, scoring a team-high 19 points and pulling down 5 rebounds. Craven Jr. reached double figures for the team, scoring 10 points and grabbing 5 rebounds.
The Bobcats struggled to contain Daylin Lee who led all scorers by exploding for 23 points to go along with 7 rebounds. Tyland Crawford also proved to be a problem for the Bobcats scoring 19 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Michael Sampson recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds to compliment Lee and Crawford.
The Bobcats will not have to wait long to seek redemption for their loss against Notre Dame, as they prepare to travel to take on the Salem Tigers for a non-conference contest this week. The Bobcats will look to shake off their early season struggles and get the season back on track against the Tigers.