Bobcats use late run to down Wheeling, 75-72, in MEC hoops action


WHEELING – The West Virginia Wesleyan men’s basketball team ended a three-game slide with a 75-72 victory over the Wheeling Cardinals Wednesday evening at the McDonough Center in a Mountain East Conference clash.

It was a game of two totally different halves.

Wesleyan built a big lead in the first half only to watch Wheeling cut away at it and in the second half, Wheeling created a sizeable advantage only for the ‘Cats to rally for the win.

The win was also a measure of revenge for the Bobcats as they lost an 84-70 outing to the Cardinals at home back on Dec. 7.

A pair of three pointers by Daylin Lee and Dusan Vicentic gave Wesleyan a quick 6-0 to start the game.

Wheeling tied the game at 8-8, but Wesleyan went on a 13-4 run taking a 21-12 lead with just 2:29 gone.

Wesleyan remained ahead by seven, at 29-22, after a lay-up by Luke Petrovic, but Wheeling closed the half on an 8-2 run to narrow the Wesleyan lead to 31-30 at the break.

Wheeling’s Emmanuel Ansong scored on a lay-up to start the second half and give Wheeling a 32-31 lead.

Wheeling would hold that lead for the next 18 minutes of the contest.

They built their lead to 10 points on three different occasions, the last at the 10:35 mark following a jumper by Geron Braithwaite that made it a 55-45 score.

Wheeling still led by eight points, at 68-60, with 3:10 remaining before Wesleyan started their comeback.

They used an 11-0 run over the next three minutes to recapture the lead, at 71-68, with 10 seconds remaining.

During the run, Petrovic made a foul shot, Ross Young made two free throws, Petrovic uncorked a three-pointer, Lee unleashed another three-pointer and Young knocked down two more free throws.

With 10 seconds remaining and up by three, the ‘Cats fouled Jarrett Haines and put him at the line.

He drained both free throws making it a one-point game, at 71-70.

Wheeling fouled Clay Todd with six seconds left and he calmly made both high pressure shots to put Wesleyan up by a 73-70 score.

Instead of allowing a three-point shot, the ‘Cat again fouled Haines who made both shots, making it a 73-72 contest with five seconds left.

Wheeling fouled Todd with three seconds left as he again drained both shots, putting Wesleyan up 75-72.

Jay Gentry’s long three-point attempt at the buzzer was off the mark as Wesleyan held on for the three-point win.

Petrovic led Wesleyan with 16 points while Lee had 15 and Vicentic 12.

Haines led Wheeling with 16 points.

Wheeling dropped to 9-7 overall and 6-7 in the MEC while Wesleyan improved to 7-12 overall and 6-7 in the MEC.

Wheeling and Wesleyan are tied for sixth in the league with their 6-7 conference marks.

Wesleyan will return to action today when they host league-leading West Liberty at 4 p.m.

The Bobcats upset the Hilltoppers back on Dec. 4 by a 94-91 score when West Liberty was ranked 14th in the nation.

The boxscore:

West Virginia Wesleyan                                                            31  44 – 75

Wheeling                                                                                    30  42 – 72

West Virginia Wesleyan 75

Luka Petrovic 5-11 5-6 16; Daylin Lee 6-11 0-0 15; Dusan Vicentic 4-11 2-2 12; Ross Young 3-5 4-4 10; Braeden McGrew 4-7 1-1 10; Clay Todd 2-4 4-4 8; Anthony Garcia 2-5 0-0 4; Marcus Larsson 0-1 1-2 1; Tommie Pope 0-1 0-0 0; Marval McGowan 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-56 16-18 75.

Wheeling 72

Jarett Haines 3-8 8-8 16; Bryce Foggin 4-8 2-2 13; Jordan Reid 5-11 2-3 12; John Korte 1-5 7-7 10; Emmanuel Ansong 5-7 0-1 10; Jay Gentry 3-8 0-0 7; Geron Braithwaite 1-4 0-0 2; Nathan Meriwether 1-3 0-0 2; Zach Collins 0-3 0-0 0; Keyon Johnson 0-1 0-0 0; Alex Humphreys 0- 0-0 0; Shawn Esajas 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-60 19-21 72.

Three-point field goals – West Virginia Wesleyan: Lee 3-5; Vicentic 2-4; Petrovic 1-4; McGrew 1-1; Pope 0-1; Meriwether 0-1; Collins 0-1; Larsson 0-1; Pope 0-1. Totals 7-18; Wheeling: Foggin 3-7; Haines 2-4; Korte 1-3; Gentry 1-4; Collins 0-1; Meriwether 0-1; Braithwaite 0-2; Humphreys 0-2; Reid 0-3. Totals 7-27.

Rebounds – West Virginia Wesleyan: Vicentic 7; Pope 7; Lee 5; Young 5; Petrovic 4; Garcia 3; team 3; McGrew 1. Totals 35; Wheeling: Ansong 7; Haines 5; Korte 5; Gentry 5; Foggin 5; Reid 3; team 2; Braithwaite 1; Collins 1; Johnson 1. Totals 35.

Assists – West Virginia Wesleyan: Petrovic 4; Lee 1; Pope 1; Young 1; McGrew 1. Totals 8; Wheeling: Reid 4; Haines 2; Ansong 1; Gentry 1; Foggin 1; Humphreys 1; Meriwether 1. Totals 11.

Steals – West Virginia Wesleyan: Petrovic 3; Vicentic 2; Todd 1; Lee 1. Totals 7; Wheeling: Reid 2; Haines 1; Ansong 1; Collins 1; Johnson 1. Totals 6.

Blocked shots – West Virginia Wesleyan: Lee 1; Vicentic 1; Young 1. Totals 3; Wheeling: None.

Turnovers – West Virginia Wesleyan: 13; Wheeling: 13.

Personal fouls – West Virginia Wesleyan: 19; Wheeling: 15.

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