Photography by Laurie Thompson
Buckhannon, W.Va. – The Bobcat Basketball teams were back in action in their last regular season road challenge in a make-up game at Shepherd University. The Women were topped 86-66 by the Rams while the Men avenged an earlier loss to the Rams, 80-68. The victory for the Men was a huge road win against the conference number two team and places the Bobcats in a prime position to earn a First Round MEC Tournament bye with just one game remaining at home verse the Glenville State Pioneers.
In the Women's tilt, the Rams topped the Bobcats 86-66 in a handily victory. Four Bobcats reached double digits, led by KiKi DeVane with 20 points and eight rebounds as Brittany Williams followed her up with a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Guards Kacey Johnson and Allyson Freiermuth would each add 10 points for the Bobcats, however, it wasn't enough to push past the Rams as Gabby Flinchum dropped 28 points to lead all scorers on the night.
The Rams would use a 15 point half time lead to cruise to the 20 point victory. Wesleyan would draw as close as 11 with 9:48 left in the game on a Johnson layup but an answering run by the Rams would put the game out of reach down the stretch for the Bobcats. The Women will return home for senior day as lone senior Morgan Hobbs will be honored before their contest with conference number one, Glenville State.
The Men's battle saw the Bobcats wear down the Rams after being down only one point at halftime, 38-37. Senior point guard Ray Warren would bust out for 19 of his team high 20 points in the second half to help lead the charging Bobcats.
After the Rams would begin the game up 12-6, sophmore Tanner McGrew would begin his scoring with two of his 18 points on a lay-up assisted by Brett Ervin to jar the 'Cats in to motion. Wesleyan would claim slim leads, trading blows with the Rams but Shepherd would have the final say in the first half with a final second bucket to give the Rams the 38-37 lead.
Wesleyan would immediately reclaim the lead at the start of the second half and the battle was back on right where the two teams left off. Warren, who would connect on all seven of his free throws in the second half, went to the line 10 times in all and grabbed six boards to accompany his 20 points. The Bobcats showed their first signs of pulling away with just under 7:30 left in the game extending their lead out to six on a Garrett Grantham jumper that propelled the 'Cats to a 64-58 advantage. The Rams would answer with three out of four free throws but two Chris Dewberry 3-bombs on either end of another McGrew lay-up would extend the Bobcat lead to 72-61 where the Bobcats would finish strong and hold onto the 80-68 victory.
The win sets up the Bobcats for a showdown with conference foe and long-time rival Glenville State on Saturday. The Pioneers enter 13-8, tied for fifth with Fairmont State in the Mountain East Conference while the Bobcats sit at 14-7, tied for third now with the Shepherd Rams team they just defeated. With the victory Wesleyan solitifies themselves with a First Round bye in the MEC tournament next week. That means their first contest would be in the quarter finals held in Charleston, W. Va. at the Civic Center, awaiting an opponent from an opening contest.