‘Cats overcome 19-point half time deficit to beat NDC in overtime


SOUTH EUCLID (Ohio) – Most teams would prefer not to fall behind by 20 or so points in a game.

For head coach Nick Patella and his West Virginia Wesleyan Bobcats, that is seemingly when they do some of their best work.

The ‘Cats were behind by 21 points to the Notre Dame Falcons in the first half of their Mountain East Conference contest Saturday afternoon but rallied to win a 101-95 decision.

The victory comes on the heels of being down by 22 11 days ago to nationally-ranked West Liberty where the ‘Cats pulled out a 94-91 victory.

Saturday’s contest also marked the first time the ‘Cats topped the 100-point mark.

The win gave Wesleyan 4-7 record overall and a 4-2 mark in the MEC.

After starting the season 0-5, Wesleyan has won four of their last six games.

Braeden McGrew started the game for Wesleyan hitting a three-pointer just 12 seconds into the contest.

That may have been the lone first-half highlight as Notre Dame started to pull away after that.

A Dusan Vicentic jumper kept the Bobcats down by just two, at 16-14, with seven minutes elapsed from the game.

Notre Dame went on a 20-2 run over the next six minutes to take a 36-16 lead.

A three-pointer by Clay Todd trimmed the margin down to 15 for Wesleyan, at 42-27, with 3:41 remaining in the half, but the ‘Cats went into the intermission down by 19, at 50-31.

Wesleyan slowly started to cut into the Note Dame lead, starting the second half on a 13-6 run that narrowed the gap down to 12, at 56-44 with 3:38 gone.

Down by 16, at 62-46, Todd and Petrovic each knocked down a trey and Vicentic popped in a jumper in the paint to trim the lead down to eight, at 62-54.

Notre Dame built their lead back to 12, at 72-60, but a lay-up by Daylin Lee and a three-pointer by Marcus Larsson took the Falcon advantage back down to seven, at 72-65, with seven minutes remaining.

Still trailing by nine, at 78-69, with 5:31 left, the ‘Cats made their run as they scored 10 straight points capped off by a pair of free throws by Young for a 79-78 lead with two minutes left.

Jordan Scarberry hit a three-pointer for Notre Dame giving the lead back to the Falcons at 81-79, but an old-fashioned three-pointer by Young treated Wesleyan to an 82-81 lead with 90 seconds remaining.

A pair of free throws by Vicentic upped the Wesleyan lead to 84-81 with 21 seconds left, but DeAnthony Owens nailed a trey with 11 seconds left deadlocking the game at 84-84 and forcing an overtime session.

Vicentic started the overtime scoring with a lay-up and Wesleyan never trailed in the overtime segment.

Leading 90-88, Vicentic unleashed another trey giving the Bobcats a 93-88 advantage.

Two free throws by Young pushed the Bobcat overtime lead to seven, at 98-91, with 36 seconds remaining.

Notre Dame cut it to three points on a lay-up by Bruce Hodges at 98-95 with 23 seconds but the Falcons were never able to get any closer the final stretch of the game.

Vicentic was one of five Wesleyan players in double digits as he scored a game-high 27 points.

Young followed with 24 points while Todd had 15, Petrovic 13 and Lee 11.

Owens had 27 for Notre Dame while Scarberry had 24 and Levi Frankland 21.

Notre Dame dropped to 2-8 overall and 1-5 in the MEC.

The Bobcats will now enjoy some down time over the holiday break and will return to action Sunday, Jan. 5 when they visit Beckley for a non-conference game with West Virginia University-Tech Golden Bears at 4 p.m.

The boxscore:

W. Va. Wesleyan             31  53  17 – 101

Notre Dame                   50  34  11 – 95

West Virginia Wesleyan 101

Dusan Vicentic 9-12 6-8 27; Ross Young 7-11 10-10 24; Clay Todd 5-13 2-2 15; Luka Petrovic 5-13 0-0 13; Daylin Lee 4-11 2-3 11; Braden McGrew 1-5 3-3 6; Marcus Larsson 1-3 0-0 3; Cameron Ramage 1-2 0-0 2; Tommie Pope 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 33-70 23-26 101.

Notre Dame 95

DeAnthony Owens 9-17 6-9 27; Drew Scarberry 8-17 2-2 24; Levi Frankland 8-14 0-0 21; Jordan Burton 3-8 2-3 8; Jacob Sala 2-4 3-3 7; Bruce Hodges 2-8 0-0 4; Larenz Thurman 2-4 0-0 4; Daniel Lott 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 34-72 13-17 95.

Three-point field goals – West Virginia Wesleyan: Vicentic 3-5; Todd 3-7; Petrovic 3-9; Larsson 1-2; McGrew 1-4; Lee 1-4; Ramage 0-1. Totals 12-32; Notre Dame: Scarberry 6-14; Frankland 5-9; Owens 3-6; Hodges 0-2; Thurman 0-2; Burton 0-1. Totals 14-34.

Rebounds – West Virginia Wesleyan: Vicentic 9; Young 7; Tod 5; Petrovic 5; McGrew 3; Lee 3; Pope 2; team 1. Totals 35; Notre Dame: Owens 9; Thurman 7; Scarberry 6; Frankland 6; Hodges 6; Burton 2; Sala 2; team 3. Totals 41.

Assists – West Virginia Wesleyan: Young 5; Todd 4; Petrovic 4; McGrew 2; Vicentic 1; Lee 1. Totals 17; Notre Dame: Burton 8; Frankland 5; Thurman 3; Hodges 2; Owens 1; Sala 1. Totals 20.

Steals – West Virginia Wesleyan: Young 2; Lee 2; Todd 1; Petrovic 1; Pope 1. Totals 7; Notre Dame: Scarberry 2; Owens 1; Frankland 1; Thurman 1; Burton 1; Sala 1. Totals 7.

Blocked shots – West Virginia Wesleyan: Vicentic 1; Todd 1. Totals 2; Notre Dame: Frankland 1. Totals 1.

Turnovers – West Virginia Wesleyan: 10; Notre Dame: 12.

Personal fouls – West Virginia Wesleyan:  13; Notre Dame: 17.

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