Lady Bobcats open season with 70-63 loss to Pitt-Johnstown

Alexa Szelong (21) of the West Virginia Wesleyan Lady Bobcats shoots an outside jumper over Pitt-Johnstown’s Alli McGrath (13) during the second half of their non-conference contest Wednesday at Rockefeller Center. The Lady ’Cats dropped a 70-63 decision.

BUCKHANNON – A rough fourth-quarter prevented the West Virginia Wesleyan Lady Bobcats from winning their season opener Wednesday evening against the visiting Pitt-Johnstown Mountain Cats.

Wesleyan led going into the final quarter by a 56-51 score, but was outscored by a 19-7 margin in the final frame and wound up dropping a 70-63 decision.

The Lady Bobcats trailed early, down 5-0, but tied the game at 10-10 and took their first lead on a three-pointer by Brittany Stawovy with five minutes gone in the first quarter.

A three-pointer by Tyra Hughes gave Wesleyan their biggest lead of the first quarter at 16-12, but the Mountain Cats ended the quarter on a 10-5 run to take a 22-21 lead.

A pair of jumpers by Amira Layeni put Wesleyan ahead to start the second quarter at 25-22.

Although Pitt-Johnstown tied the game several times they were never able to grab the lead in the second 10 minutes of action.

The  game was tied at the break at 35-35.

Wesleyan opened the second half on an 8-1 run following a jumper by Nicole Gilyard to make it a 43-36 game.

Pitt-Johnstown scores the next six to close it to a 43-42 game, but Victoria Jackson went in the paint for a lay-up to increase the Wesleyan lead back to three, at 45-42.

A Tyra Hughes jumper and another lay-up by Jackson on a fast break pushed the Wesleyan lead to seven, at 49-42, with 3:46 left in the third quarter.

They led by a 56-51 going into the final 10 minutes of action.

A lay-up by Jackson extended Wesleyan’s lead to 58-51 with a minute gone in the final quarter, but it was all Pitt-Johnstown after that.

The Mountain Cats went on a 10-0 run over the next three minutes for a 61-58 lead.

Hughes had a steal and turned into a lay-up to end the run and make it a 61-60 game but Pitt-Johnstown scored the next six points for a 67-60 advantage with 50 seconds remaining.

Layeni hit a three-pointer with 43 seconds left to close it the gap to 67-63 but Wesleyan didn’t score a point the rest of the way.

Pitt-Johnstown went five for six at the line in that fourth quarter.

Jackson scored a team-high 20 points for Wesleyan while Hughes and Layeni came off the bench to score 16 and 10 respectively.

Wesleyan shot just 39.1 percent from the floor hitting on 27 of their 69 field goal attempts.

Gilyard had a team-high eight rebounds and four steals.

Pitt-Johnstown was led by Gabrielle Smith and her double-double of 25 points and 10 rebounds.

Alli McGrath added 24 points for the  Mountain Cats.

Wesleyan, now 0-1, will return to action this Saturday when they visit Wheeling Jesuit for a Mountain East Conference game starting at noon.

The boxscore:

Pitt-Johnstown           22  13  16  19 – 70

Wesleyan                   21  14  21  7 – 63

Pitt-Johnstown 70

Gabrielle Smith 7-10 11-12 25, Alli McGrath 8-21 3-4 24, Tori Moreland 2-5 8-9 13, Maurina Nunn 2-5 0-0 4, Mia Oterson 0-1 0-0 0, Maddie Shanahan 1-5 2-2 4, Laurel O’Barto 0-0 0-0 0, Abbie Pechin 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-47 24-27 70.

West Virginia Wesleyan 63

Victoria Jackson 10-17 0-0 20, Nicole Gilyard 2-6 2-2 6, Brittany Stawovy 2-8 0-0 5, Abi Gabauer 1-8 0-0 2, Alexa Szelong 0-2 0-0 0, Tyra Hughes 7-16 0-0 16, Amira Layeni 4-8 1-3 10, Cydney Lapczynski 1-4 0-0 2, Malaika Kimmons 0-0 0-0 0, Mykenzie Martin 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-69 5-7 63.

Three-point field goals – McGrath 5-13, Moreland 1-2. Totals 6-15; West Virginia Wesleyan: Hughes 2-8, Layeni 1-2, Stawovy 1-6, Lapczynski 0-1, Szelong 0-2. Totals 4-19.

Rebounds – Pitt-Johnstown: Smith 10, Shanahan 6, McGrath 5, Nunn 5, Moreland 4, Oterson 4, Pechin 1, Team 2. Totals 37; West Virginia Wesleyan: Gilyard 8, Jackson 7, Hughes 5, Szelong 2, Stawovy 1, Gabauer 1, Lapczynski 1, Team 2. Totals 27.

Assists – Pitt-Johnstown: Nunn 5, Moreland 4, Smith 2, Oterson 2, Shanahan 1; West Virginia Wesleyan: Stawovy 3, Jackson 1, Gilyard 1, Babauer 1, Hughes 1. Totals 7.

Steals – Pitt-Johnstown – Smith 1, Nunn 1, Shanahan 1. Totals 3; West Virginia Wesleyan: Gilyard 4, Hughes 2, Layeni 2, Jackson 1, Stawovy 1. Totals 10.

Blocks – Pitt-Johnstown: Smith 1, McGrath 1. Totals 2; West Virginia Wesleyan: None

Personal fouls – Pitt-Johnstown: 13; West Virginia Wesleyan: 25.

Turnovers – Pitt-Johnstown: 17; West Virginia Wesleyan: 11.


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