Photography by Laurie Thompson
Charleston, W.Va. --
The West Virginia Wesleyan Bobcats were on the road Thursday evening as they took on the Charleston Golden Eagles in two MEC tilts. The Men held on for a 68-64 victory while the Women's team suffered a 55-42 defeat.
In the Women's match-up, the Lady Bobcats, unfortunately, got behind due to some poor first half shooting. Wesleyan managed only 13 first half points on 6-20 shooting, dropping the Bobcats too far behind to complete the comeback despite outscoring Charleston in the second half 29-27. The Bobcats were led by two double digits scorers, Brittany Williams with 11 and KiKi DeVane chimed in with 10 off the bench in 30 minutes of action.
After trailing by 15 at the half, the Lady Bobcats pledged several attempts to get back in the game but solid play from the Golden Eagles never let them any closer than nine points at any time. The 'Cats would drastically improve in the second half almost going 50% (9-19) from the floor and a perfect 11-11 from the line but the damage had already been. The final horn would sound on the Bobcats at 55-42 leaving Wesleyan still searching for that first conference win.
The Men's contest saw a Wesleyan team trying to avoid their first three game skid of the season at a Charleston Golden Eagle team that already nipped the 'Cats at home in Buckhannon. In a tight edged game the Bobcats pulled out the 68-64 victory that improves their conference record to 9-6, sixth in the conference. Each contributing nine first half points, Brett Ervin and Tanner McGrew helped lead the Bobcats to a 36-33 halftime advantage, but it was Aleksandar Djordjevic's 3-pointer as time expired that ultimately gave Wesleyan the lead. With both teams shooting over 50% from the floor there were not many rebounds and both squads did a good job of handling the ball as there were only eight combined turnovers, each team with four.
The second half began with Wesleyan jumping out of the gates to a 10 point lead, 49-39, just five minutes in to the start, moreover extending the lead to 14 on a Ray Warren lay-up with 13:05 left in the game. Senior T.J. Thompson would add on his seven first half points, totaling 18 for the game going 4-7 from deep. He scored five in a row starting at the 10:00 mark, finishing with two free throws to make it a 63-49 Bobcat lead with 9:43 left in the contest. The Bobcats would find trouble in scoring down the stretch but clutch free throws by Warren would ice it at 68-64.
The win improves the Men to 14-9, 9-6 in the MEC and sets up a rematch with a hot West Virginia State team coming off a home win vs. Glenville State this Saturday at 4:00pm. They will follow the Women's contest at 2:00pm as the Lady Bobcats celebrate their "Pink" day in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness.