SOUTH EUCLID (Ohio) – The West Virginia Wesleyan men's basketball team let a key game slip away from them Thursday night against the Notre Dame Falcons in a Mountain East Conference contest.
Wesleyan owned a 38-35 lead at the half, but was outscored by a 58-33 margin in the second half en route to a 93-71 loss.
Both teams entered the game with identical 8-9 MEC records. The game was a huge opportunity for Wesleyan to make a move up the standings in hopes of hosting a first-round MEC Tournament contest.
The 'Cats and Falcons were tied for eighth place in the MEC which is the last spot to host a first-round game.
The win moved Notre Dame up to seventh in the league standings with a 9-9 conference mark and a 13-11 overall mark.
Wesleyan fell to ninth in the league as they are now 8-10 in the conference and own a 10-14 mark overall.
Austin Shell (pictured) was the other Bobcat to reach double-digits coming off the bench to record 14 points and nine rebounds.
Dewberry darted inside for a lay-up and Garrett Grantham unleashed a three-pointer to give Wesleyan an early 5-0 lead.
A Dewberry trey extended Wesleyan's early lead to nine, at 17-8, with 10:41 showing on the first-half clock.
Over the next six minutes, Notre Dame outscored Wesleyan by a 15-8 margin to close to within two, at 25-23, with five minutes remaining in the half.
Wesleyan would nurse a 38-35 lead at the intermission.
Another Dewberry three put Wesleyan ahead by six, at 52-46, with 14:15 showing on the clock.
Notre Dame went on a 10-0 run over the next minute to take a 56-52 lead. Wesleyan committed three straight turnovers in that span.
Dewberry finally ended the run with a trey that brought Wesleyan back to within one at 56-55.
Two McGrew free throws kept Wesleyan down by one at 61-60 at the 10-minute mark.
A Grantham lay-up kept Wesleyan only down by two, at 69-67, at the 6:13 mark, but Notre Dame would start to pull away at this point.
Notre Dame went on an 11-0 run to take a commanding 80-67 lead with 4:47 remaining.
McGrew would stop the run with a short jumper that made it an 80-69 game, but the Falcons outscored Wesleyan by a 13-4 count to close out the game.
Wesleyan shot the ball at a very good 55.3 percent but allowed Notre Dame to shoot the ball at a 58.3 percent clip.
Wesleyan trailed by a 27-24 margin in rebounding.
The Bobcats will return to action this Saturday when they host Urbana in a MEC tilt at 4 p.m.