Wesleyan hangs with West Liberty for a half but eventually falls, 97-67

West Virginia Wesleyan’s Daylin Lee (11) of the West Virginia Wesleyan Bobcats drives past West Liberty’s Preston Boswell (4) into the lane during the first half of their Mountain East Conference contest Saturday evening at Rockefeller Center. Lee scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds but the ‘Cats lost a 97-67 decision.

BUCKHANNON – Two months ago, the West Virginia Wesleyan Bobcats went to West Liberty and upset the No. 14th-ranked Hilltoppers.

The rematch was this past Saturday in Rockefeller Center, and the Bobcats wouldn’t be as fortunate this time.

Despite playing toe-to-toe with Hilltoppers in the first half, the Bobcats faded in the second half and lost a 97-67 decision.

The game couldn’t have started out any better for the Bobcats as they raced out to a 7-0 lead capped off by a jumper by Daylin Lee.

A jumper by Dusan Vicentic at the 14:12 mark kept Wesleyan ahead by seven, at 13-6.

Wesleyan had their biggest lead of the half and the game after Luka Petrovic knocked down a three-pointer to treat the ‘Cats to a nine-point advantage, at 21-12, with 10:38 remaining in the opening stanza.

A pair of three-pointers by West Liberty closed it to a three-point game but Petrovic scored in the paint to return the lead to five, at 23-18, with 8:49 left in the half.

West Liberty took their first lead of the game when Malik McKinney hit a three-pointer giving the Hilltoppers a 25-23 advantage with 6:16 left in the opening half.

A three-pointer by West Liberty’s Pat Robison gave the Hilltoppers a 31-27 lead but Wesleyan whittled it down to 33-32 at the intermission.

Vicentic started the half with a lay-up returning the lead back to Wesleyan, at 34-33, but it was the only second-half lead for the Bobcats.

West Liberty went on a 9-3 run taking a 43-36 led just three minutes into the second half.

A free throw by Petrovic capped off a 7-1 run for Wesleyan bringing them back to one point at 44-43, with 13:44 remaining.

West Liberty put the game away, however, with a 22-2 run, taking a 66-45 lead, with nine minutes remaining.

West Liberty’s biggest lead of the game would be the final score as the Hilltoppers ended the contest with a 6-0 run.

Petrovic led Wesleyan with 19 points and eight rebounds while Vicentic had 15 points.

Will Yoakum paced West Liberty with 20 points while Dalton Bolon had a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

West Liberty shot 51.6 percent for the game making 33 of their 64 shots.

They were equally as good behind the three-point stripe as they were 17 of 37 for 45.9 percent.

West Liberty improved to 16-3 overall and 11-2 in the MEC.

Wesleyan dropped to 7-13 overall and 6-8 in the MEC.

The Bobcats will return to action Wednesday when they host Notre Dame College at 7:30 p.m.

The boxscore:

West Liberty                         33  64 – 97

West Virginia Wesleyan       32  35 – 67

West Liberty 97

Will Yoakum 7-11 2-2 20; Dalton Bolon 6-15 0-0 18; Pat Robinson 6-11 4-5 18; Malik Mckinney 6-9 1-1 14; Luke Dyer 3-5 0-0 9; Owen Hazelbaker 3-5 1-2 8; Preston Boswell 1-3 5-6 7; Bryce Butler 1-4 1-2 3; Jon Alessandro 0-1 0-0 0; Quinn Hiles 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 33-64 14-18 97.

West Virginia Wesleyan 67

Luka Petrovic 8-14 1-2 19; Dusan Vicentic 5-8 4-5 15; Daylin Lee 5-10 2-3 12; Tommie Pope 2-4 2-2 6; Clay Todd 2-6 0-0 6; Cameron Ramage 1-3 2-2 5; Anthony Garcia 2-3 0-1 4; Braeden McGrew 0-4 0-0 0; Marcus Larsson 0-1 0-0 0; Ross Young 0-2 0-0 0; Jaylin Reed 0-0 0-0 0; Marvel McGowan 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-55 11-16 67.

Three-point field goals – West Liberty: Bolon 6-12; Yoakum 4-6; Dyer 3-5; Robinson 2-5; Mckinney 1-2; Hazelbaker 1-3; Butler 0-2; Boswell 0-1; Alessandro 0-1. Totals 17-37; West Virginia Wesleyan: Petrovic 2-5; Todd 2-5; Vicentic 1-4; Ramage 1-2; Lee 0-1; Garcia 0-1; McGrew 0-2. Totals 6-20.

Rebounds – West Liberty: Bolon 10; Robinson 5; Butler 5; Yoakum 4; Mckinney 3; Hazelbaker 3; Dyer 1; Alessandro 1; Hiles 1. Totals 33; West Virginia Wesleyan: Petrovic 8; Lee 7; Pope 5; Vicentic 2; Ramage 1; Garcia 1; McGrew 1; Larsson 1; Young 1. Totals 27.

Assists – West Liberty: Dyer 5; Butler 4; Boswell 3; Yoakum 2; Mckinney 2; Bolon 1; Alessandro 1; Robinson 1. Totals 20; West Virginia Wesleyan: Petrovic 8; Todd 4; Vicentic 2; Pope 1; McGrew 1 Totals 16.

Steals – West Liberty: Yoakum 2; Boswell 2; Bolon 1; Robinson 1; Mckinney 1; Hazelbaker 1. Totals 8; West Virginia Wesleyan: Todd 1; Larsson 1. Totals 2.

Blocked shots – West Liberty: Yoakum 1. Totals 1; West Virginia Wesleyan: Vicentic 1; Lee 1. Totals 2;

Turnovers – West Liberty: 5; West Virginia Wesleyan: 14.

Personal fouls – West Liberty: 16; West Virginia Wesleyan: 17.

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