Photography by Pete Galarneu, Jr.
Buckhannon, W.Va. -- The West Virginia Wesleyan Bobcat basketball teams were in action Saturday as both the Men's and Women's teams hosted the Concord Mountain Lions at Rockefeller Center. The Women's tilt tipped off at 2:00pm while the Men started battle at 4:00pm.
In the first match-up between the Women, the Bobcats got out to an early lead over the Mountain Lions due to some hot shooting from Allie Browne and Brittany Williams. For the Mountain Lions Rachel Artrip would head the scoring attack with 15 while Melea Smith would chime in with 14 off the bench. The Bobcats, however, would hold a 29-27 edge as the teams headed in to break.
The teams would trade baskets leaving the game tied at 46 at the 10:56 mark in the game when the Mountain Lions were able to go on a 6-0 run giving them a lead they would never relinquish. Despite outshooting the Mountain Lions from the floor at a very respectable 42% for the game, the Bobcats could not find their way back in the lead. Browne would lead all scorers on the day with 18 while Kacey Johnson would find her way to double-digits accumulating 10 points while KiKi DeVane managed to grab 11 boards.
With the loss, the Bobcats fall to 2-5 (0-4) on the season while Concord improves to 3-4 (1-3) on the year. The Women will have off until they travel to Fayetteville State on the 15th to do battle before the Christmas holiday.
The Men's game featured a hot Bobcat team coming off a home upset against an undefeated UVa-Wise Cavalier team that compared to the visiting Mountain Lions. The Bobcats continued their early hot streak as senior T.J. Thompson scored 14 of his 16 points in the first half connecting on 4-6 three pointers. The hot shooting was accompanied by Taylor Price's forceful inside presence, something the 'Cats have not seen too much of this season, as he tallied eight points and five first half rebounds. The continuous effort of Wesleyan helped push their halftime lead out to 42-31 as the teams entered the break.
The start of the second half the Bobcats cooled off after Aleksandar Djordjevic began the period with a smooth left hand layup down the middle of the lane, but a spark from senior Brett Ervin and his nine straight points off 3-pointers would help push the Bobcat lead back out to 58-43 after the Mountain Lions drew to within six at 49-43. Strong play from senior guard Ray Warren and his 14 points, team high eight rebounds, and five assists along with Djordjevic helped the Bobcats claim a 9-12 turnover edge while collecting 15 team assists.
The Mountain Lions made a valiant effort to claw back in the game but timely buckets and clutch free-throw shooting from the Bobcats sealed the victory earning them an overall 5-4 record and 2-2 in the MEC. The Men will take back to action as they travel to Alderson-Broaddus Wednesday to do battle in a non-conference rivalry game.