‘Cats start fast but can’t maintain early lead in loss to nationally-ranked FSU

Ross Young

BUCKHANNON – After nearly a two-month delay to the start of the 2020-2021 basketball season, the West Virginia Wesleyan Bobcats came out with thoughts of an upset over the No. 23 Fairmont State Falcons Thursday evening in their home opener at Rockefeller Center.

In the Mountain East Conference opener for both teams, the Bobcats roared out to an early 7-0 lead and still held the advantage seven minutes into the game, but Wesleyan couldn’t keep the early success going and dropped a 110-85 decision to the Falcons.

The ‘Cats started quickly as Daylin Lee nailed a three-pointer just five seconds into the game, and Ross Young followed with a pair of lay-ups to treat the Bobcats to a 7-0 lead with three minutes gone in the game.

Fairmont State closed the gap to 12-8 but Wesleyan’s Braeden McGrew unleashed a three-pointer giving Wesleyan a 15-8 lead at the 13:09 mark of the first half.

The game turned at that point as Fairmont State went on a 14-0 run over the next three minutes taking a 22-15 lead with 10:30 showing on the first-half clock.

Jaret Mullooly fired in a three-pointer for Wesleyan to end the run, but the Falcons got hot from behind the three-point arc hitting four of them over the next three minutes for a 13-point lead, at 34-21, with 6:53 remaining in the half.

Fairmont State built their lead up to 22 points with a minute remaining, but Wesleyan closed the half getting a pair of short jumpers from Jayden Hibbitt making it a 54-36 contest at the break.

A three-pointer by Wesleyan’s Jaylin Reed cut the Fairmont State lead down to 18, at 64-46, at the 16:21 mark of the second half, but the Bobcats couldn’t get any closer the rest of the way.

Wesleyan’s biggest deficit in the second half was 29 points after Fairmont State’s Cole VonHandorf made a lay-up for the Falcons with 6:04 left in the game.

Fairmont State shot 60 percent from the floor in the second half scoring 56 points.

The Falcons shot 52.4 percent from the floor for the game with VonHandorf leading with way with 18 points while Dale Bonner added 15.

Wesleyan was 31 of 71 from the floor for 43.7 percent.

Young, Mullooly, and Cameron Ramage each had 12 points to lead the Bobcats in scoring while Young pulled down a team-best eight rebounds.

The Bobcats, now 0-1 overall and 0-1 in the MEC, will return to action Sunday visiting Frostburg State in a MEC contest.

The clash will tip at 4 p.m.

The boxscore:

Fairmont State                  54  56 – 110

West Virginia Wesleyan 36  49 – 85

Fairmont State 110

Cole VonHandorf 7-15 2-3 18; Dale Bonner 6-14 2-2 15; Przemyslaw Golek 5-7 2-2 13; Isaiah Sanders 4-9 3-6 12; Zyon Dobbs 5-9 0-0 10 Seth Younkin 5-7 3-4 13; Illsia Washington 5-7 0-0 13; Andrew Mills 4-7 2-2 11; Steven Solomon 1-2 0-0 3; Kyle Whippen 1-3 0-1 2; Jack Kelsheimer 0-1 0-0 0; Paul Brendan 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 43-82 14-20 110.

West Virginia Wesleyan 85

Ross Young 6-12 0-2 12; Jaret Mullooly 4-7 0-0 12; Cameron Ramage 4-9 3-4 12; Jaylin Reed 4-9 0-0 10; Daylin Lee 2-7 3-4 9; Jayden Hibbitt 4-9 0-0 9; Braeden McGrew 2- 2-2 7; Marvel McGowan 2-6 1-1 5; Anthony Craven Jr. 1-3 3-4 5; Tommie Pope 1-2 0-1 2; Shawn Moran 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 31-71 12-18 85.

Three-point field goals – Fairmont State: Washington 3-5; VonHandorf 2-8; Golek 1-1; Solomom 1-2; Sanders 1-3; Mills 1-3; Bonner 1-4; Dobbs 0-2; Ksisheimer 0-1; Paul 0-1. Totals 10-30; West Virginia Wesleyan: Mullooly 4-6; Reed 2-4; Lee 2-7; McGrew 1-3; Hibbitt 1-3; Ramage 1-4; Young 0-1; Pope 0-1; McGowan 0-1; Craven Jr. 0-1. Totals 11-31.

Rebounds – Fairmont State: Golek 9; Younkin 8; Sanders 6; Dobbs 5; VonHardorf 5; Bonner 3; Mills 3; Whippen 2; Brendan 2; Solomon 1; team 1. Totals 51; West Virginia Wesleyan: Young 8; Lee 7; Reed 4; Hibbitt 4; Craven Jr. 4; Pope 3; McGowan 3; Mullooly 1; McGrew 1; team 1. Totals 36.

Assists – Fairmont State: Dobbs 6; Bonner 4; VonHandorf 2; Sanders 2; Washington 2; Solomon 2; Whippen 1. Totals 19; West Virginia Wesleyan: Pope 4; Lee 3; Young 2; Mullooly 1; Hibbitt 1; McGrew 1; McGowan 1; Ramage 1; Craven Jr. 1. Totals 15

Steals – Fairmont State: Bonner 3; Dobbs 3; VonHandorf 2; Solomon 1. Totals 9; West Virginia Wesleyan:  Mullooly 2; Young 1; Reed 1; McGowan 1; Craven Jr. 1. Totals 6.

Blocked shots – Fairmont State: Younkin 1. Totals 1; West Virginia Wesleyan: Young 1, Lee 1. Totals 2.

Turnovers – Fairmont State: 15; West Virginia Wesleyan: 21.

Personal fouls – Fairmont State: 22; West Virginia Wesleyan: 23.

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