Photography by Pete Galarneau, Jr.
Buckhannon, W.Va. - The West Virginia Wesleyan College basketball teams were in action Thursday evening as they hosted the Fighting Falcons of Notre Dame. Despite the frigid weather, Rockefeller Center was jumping with energy to witness the contests. The Women's team fell 59-48 while the Men hung on for a tough 85-80 victory.
The Women were led by Kacey Johnson with 11 points off the bench for the 'Cats while Allie Browne also reached double figures scoring 10 for Wesleyan. However, it wasn't enough to match the Falcons play as they got out to an early 33-23 first half lead to claim the Mountain East win. Martha Nagbe and Erin Entinghe, both, led the Falcons with 14 points in the win as Notre Dame was able to control things from the tip, never looking back after trailing 4-2 to begin the game.
The Bobcats would make a valiant second half effort with 12:32 left in the contest, drawing as close as three points to the Falcons but an 8-0 run with the score at 40-37 would propel the Lady Falcons back to an 11 point lead they would hold for the duration of the game. The loss moves the 'Cats to 2-19 on the season, 0-17 in the MEC and will return to action Saturday when the teams travel to Urbana.
The Men's contest saw a hot shooting Bobcat squad hold on down the stretch as a feisty Fighting Falcon team did everything in their power to erase a 14 point first half deficit. Wesleyan would build a substantial 20 point margin in the first half on some impressive long range shooting from Chris Dewberry as he went 6-6 from deep, collecting 18 of his team high 21 points in the first half. Tremendous passing from Aleksandar Djordjevic landed him a season high nine assists as he was only one assist and two rebounds shy of a triple-double, scoring 11 points as the Bobcats took a 45-31 lead in to the half.
Early in the second half the Falcons began to mount a comeback as Tyree Gaiter led the charge scoring a game high 29 in the contest to keep Notre Dame alive. Early in the second half the Bobcats would hold the Falcons at arm's length, but with 13:52 left in the game the Falcons would cut the lead to single digits at 52-43. Wesleyan would answer back with a run of their own as Brett Ervin canned three long distance 3's as well as senior T.J. Thompson adding one of his own to stretch the lead back to 70-57 with 6:34 left in the contest.
Down the final stretch relentless pressure from Gaiter and the Falcons would force several Bobcat turnovers keeping Notre Dame in the game. They would come as close as 77-75 but more clutch Wesleyan free throw shooting would preserve the 85-80 Bobcat win. Four other players would join Dewberry in double digits as Ervin, Thompson, Djordjevic, and Taylor Price would all have over 10 in the win. The victory improves the Men's MEC record to 11-6, 16-9 for the campaign. The Men will join the Women in travelling to Urbana Saturday for another MEC match up.