Lady Bobcat cagers squander early lead; tumble to Urbana at the buzzer, 82-80

Malaika Kimmons (32) of the West Virginia Wesleyan Lady Bobcats drives the baseline past Urbana’s Weston Minnich (15) during their Mountain East Conference contest Wednesday evening at Rockefeller Center. Kimmons scored six points in Wesleyan’s 82-80 setback.

BUCKHANNON – The West Virginia Wesleyan Lady Bobcat basketball team came out on fire building a 16-point first-quarter lead against Urbana Blue Knights Wednesday evening in a Mountain East Conference contest at Rockefeller Center.

They then spent the rest of game watching Urbana cut into that lead and suffered an 82-80 setback when Urbana’s Sylvia Hudson made a put back at the buzzer.

Lost in the disappointing setback was a strong game from Lady Bobcat Brittany Stawovy who poured in 31 points.

A lay-up by Nicole Gilyard gave Wesleyan an early 12-5 with four minutes gone in the game.

Leading 22-9, Imani Jackson made a free throw and Amira Layeni ended the quarter with a jumper to treat Wesleyan to a 25-9 lead.

Urbana managed to get hot in the second quarter with 30 points.

They started the quarter on a 13-0 run to close the deficit to 25-22.

A three-pointer by Stawovy gave Wesleyan a 31-25 advantage with 5:51 remaining and they held onto a five-point lead at the break, 44-39.

A pair of free throws by Gilyard gave Wesleyan a 48-41 lead, but Urbana scored nine straight to take a 50-48 advantage with 7:09 on the clock.

Wesleyan responded with a 12-4 run retaking the lead at 62-52, with 2:31 left in the third quarter.

They led by nine going into the final 10 minutes of action, at 66-57.

A jumper by Cierra Tolbert kept Wesleyan’s lead at six, at 68-62, with 90 seconds gone in the fourth quarter.

Following a lay-up by Stawovy, they still held a six-point lead, at 76-70, with 4:51 remaining in the game.

A pair of free throws by Malaika Kimmons kept Wesleyan ahead by four, at 77-73 with 2:50 left in the contest.

Urbana scored seven straight over the next minute for an 80-77 lead.

Stawovy canned a huge three with a minute remaining to even the game for Wesleyan, at 80-80.

Urbana missed a lay-up attempt on their possession, but Wesleyan turned it over on their possession.

Hudon drove the lane and missed her first lay-up attempt but got the rebound and put it back in at the buzzer to give Urbana the win.

Behind Stawovy’s output, Tolbert tallied 13 points for Wesleyan while Gilyard had 11.

Tyra James led Urbana with 28 points.

Urbana improved to 6-3 overall and 3-1 in the MEC.

West Virginia Wesleyan dropped to 3-6 overall and 1-4 in the MEC.

Wesleyan will return to action Saturday at Notre Dame College.

The MEC contest will begin at 2 p.m.

The boxscore:

Urbana                    9  30  18  25 – 82

W. Va. Wesleyan  25  19  22  14 – 80

Urbana 82

Tyra James 13-20 2-4 28; Sylvia Hudson 8-15 4-5 20; Bailey Draughn 4-10 2-2 13; Weston Minnich 3-6 0-0 9; Kami McEldowney 1-4 1-2 4; Kasey Knippen 1-3 1-2 3; Alivia Hoenig 1-1 0-0 3; Lexie Wright 1-3 0-0 2; Sa’Dera Johnson 0-4 0-0 0; Chloe Smith 0-0 0-0 0; Shalaya Heath 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 32-66 10-15 82.

West Virginia Wesleyan 80

Brittany Stawovy 9-16 7-7 31; Ceirra Tolbert 6-11 1-4 13; Nicole Gilyard 4-13 3-4 11; Amira Layeni 3-6 1-2 7; Courtney Wilfong 1-2 4-4 6; Malaika Kimmons 2-5 2-4 6; Abi Gabauer 1-5 2-2 5; Imain Jackson 0-0 1-2 1; Cydney Lapczynski 0-0 0-0 0; Malera Staples 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-58 21-29 80.

Three-point field goals – Urbana: Draughn 3-5; Minnich 3-5; McEldowny 1-3; Koenig 0-1; James 0-1; Knippen 0-1; Wright 0-1; Johnson 0-1. Totals 8-18; West Virginia Wesleyan: Stawovy 6-8; Gabauer 1-4; Gilyard 0-1. Totals 7-13.

Rebounds – Urbana: Hudson 8; James 6; Draughn 5; Wright 2; Minnich 1; Knippen 1. Totals 23; West Virginia Wesleyan: Stawovy 9; Tolbert 8; Gilyard 7; Wilfong 4; Layeni 4; Kimmons 2; team 2; Gabauer 1; Staples 1. Totals 38.

Assists – Urbana: James 5; McEldowney 4; Minnich 3; Hudson 2; Draughn 1; Knippen 1; Johnson 1. Totals 17; West Virginia Wesleyan: Wilfong 5; Stawovy 4; Tolbert 2; Gabauer 2; Gilyard 1. Totals 14.

Steals – Urbana: James 5; Minnich 3; Hudson 1; McEldowney 1; Knippen 1; Wright 1. Totals 12; West Virginia Wesleyan: Wilfong 2; Stawovy 1; Gilyard 1. Totals 4.

Blocked shots – Urbana: James 2 Draughn 2; Minnich 2. Totals 6; West Virginia Wesleyan: Gilyard 1; Layeni 1.

Turnovers – Urbana: 10; West Virginia Wesleyan: 21.

Personal fouls – Urbana: 19; West Virginia Wesleyan: 14.

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