Photography by Laurie Thompson
Wise, Va. -- The West Virginia Wesleyan Basketball teams were back in action Saturday as they traveled to the University of Virginia-Wise to take on the Cavaliers. Our Lady Bobcats fell victim to a 58-50 point loss, however, the Men's team continued their hot streak claiming the 67-56 win.
The Women, unfortunately, fell to the same story as of late; lead at half but too many second half points by the opposition led to a Cavalier comeback win. The Bobcat Women held the Cavaliers to 17 first half points claiming an early 21-17 halftime lead but a 41 point second period outburst was just too much for the Bobcats.
Both teams were led in scoring by players off the bench. For Wesleyan, Courtney Small had 13 points on 4-8 shooting from 3 and 1-2 from the free throw line. The other lone double digit scorer for the 'Cats was Brittany Williams with 10 points to go with her five rebounds before fouling out of the contest. The Cavs were led by Reynesha Archer, also with 13 points as she led three double figure scorers for UVa-Wise.
The game dramatically changed as the second half began when the Cavliers opened up with a 22-1 run that seemingly was the difference in the contest. Never fully recovering, the Bobcats clawed their way back in the game getting as close as 10 on a couple occasions but time was the final enemy closing the door on Wesleyan at 58-50.
In the Men's contest, the Bobcats used a balanced scoring attack mixed with an overpowering defensive effort that held the Cavaliers to a 32% shooting night from the floor to capture the 67-56 win. Wesleyan trailed 0-2 and 2-4 before controlling much of the tempo and flow of Saturday evening's victory. Garrett Grantham led the charge for the 'Cats as his 15 of his team's 30 bench points also proved to be a big difference in the contest. Despite being slightly outrebounded the Bobcats would head into intermission with a 30-22 advantage as Tanner McGrew added eight of his 12 points on 4-5 shooting to help propel the 'Cats.
Much like their Women's team, the Cavalier Men jumped out of the second half gates and fought their way back to claim a 35-34 lead before Wesleyan figured things out and went on a 7-1 run to re-gain the lead that they would never again relinquish. UVa-Wise's Javon Moore did everything he could amassing 14 points in the second half comeback charge but continued clutch free throw shooting from the 'Cats (17-18, 94%) kept the game at arm's length sealing the 11 point victory at 67-56. Seniors T.J. Thompson and Brett Ervin were both held in single digits for the first time all season, but freshman Aleksandar Djordjevic and junior Taylor Price both added 10 points of their own.
The victory for the Men brings them to 13-7, more importantly 8-4 in the MEC. It is also their eighth win in their last 10 competitions. The loss for the Women brings their record to 2-14, 0-12 in the MEC. Both teams are off Monday and will resume play when they are, once again, on the road at Concord University. In the first meeting the Concord Women slipped away with a victory however the Men took care of business with a strong 81-65 effort. Women's tip-off is at 5:30 and the Men will follow.