BUCKHANNON – Some losses sting just a little bit more than others and that is probably how head coach Gary Nottingham and his West Virginia Wesleyan Bobcat basketball team felt after their disappointing 69-66 setback to the visiting Shepherd Rams in a Mountain East Conference game here Monday night.
The 'Cats were down by 10 at the half but battled back to take an eight-point lead at 62-54 with 4:30 remaining in the game.
But the 'Cats were forced into six turnovers over the next four minutes as Shepherd went on a 13-2 run to take a 67-64 lead with 26 seconds remaining.
Wesleyan managed to get off two good looks from three-point land but ultimately turned the ball over on their possession, their seventh turnover in the final 4:30, and had to foul Shepherd.
The Rams made both free throws for a 69-64 lead before Soren Dossing wrapped up the scoring at the buzzer with a lay-up.
Senior forward Tanner McGrew shined in the loss as he scored a season-high 34 points. It was the fifth-highest point total in the Mountain East Conference this year.
He also grabbed 15 rebounds for his 12th double-double of the year. He entered the game third in the nation in rebounding averaging 12.7 boards per contest.
Wesleyan played the game without the services of senior forward Taylor Price who was injured. Price averages 9.4 points per game and 3.4 rebounds per game.
The loss dropped Wesleyan to 8-13 overall and 6-9 in the MEC.
Shepherd improved to 12-9 overall and 7-8 in the MEC.
Grantham also had a game-high nine assists.
Wesleyan outshot Shepherd in the game. Wesleyan shot the ball at a 53.2 clip while Shepherd shot the ball at a 48.1 rate.
Wesleyan was a perfect 10-for-10 at the free throw line.
Wesleyan also outrebounded Shepherd by a 31-21 margin.
A big difference in the game was the turnover margin. Wesleyan was guilty of 18 turnovers while Shepherd gave the ball away just six times.
The Bobcats will return to action this Thursday when they entertain Charleston at 7:30 p.m.
Charleston will enter the contest with a 15-6 record.