Basketball 'Cats Beat Shaw in Opener, 85-82

Basketball 'Cats Beat Shaw in Opener, 85-82

FAIRMONT -- The West Virginia Wesleyan men's basketball team held off a pesky Shaw University squad for an 85-82 victory in their season debut today in the Retton Classic at Fairmont State University.

Pre-season All-American Tanner McGrew led the Bobcats with 22 points and eight rebounds.

Including McGrew, all five starters reached double digits in scoring.

Chris Dewberry tallied 16 points while newcomers Mo Berchie and Fred Brondsted scored 14 and Garrett Grantham scored 11.

Wesleyan trailed 9-6 early but outscored Shaw by an 18-8 margin over the next eight minutes to take a 24-17 lead.

Shaw went on an 8-0 run to retake the lead at 25-24 with 5:29 remaining in the first half.

Still down by one late in the first half, Dewberry drained a three-pointer with 52 seconds left to treat Wesleyan to a 35-33 lead at the half.

With the Bobcats nursing a 42-41 lead three minutes into the second half, they went on an 11-0 run to open up a 53-41 advantage.

McGrew made two free throws and then scored a lay-up, Brondsted unleashed a three-pointer, McGrew came back with a jumper and Kodrin popped in a jumper during the run.

A Todrin jumper extended Wesleyan's lead to 13 at 61-48 at the 10-minute mark.

Shaw whittled the lead down to 62-59 with seven minutes remaining but Berchie turned in a three-point play after being fouled on his lay-up that pushed the Wesleyan advantage to five at 64-59 with 6:43 remaining.

Shaw went on a 12-4 run over the next three minutes to take a 71-68 lead with 3:42 showing on the second-half clock.

Wesleyan responded with an 11-0 run over the next over the next three minutes to take a 79-71 lead.

McGrew made a lay-up, Dewberry sank two free throws, McGrew tossed in two more foul shots, Grantham uncorked a trey and Berchie downed two foul shots during the run.

Joshua Cassady put in a tip-in for Shaw but Brondsted countered with a lay-up to keep Wesleyan ahead by eight at 81-73 with 43 seconds remaining.

Shaw went on a 7-1 run over the next 30 seconds to close the gap to 82-80 game with 11 seconds remaining.

Dewberry was fouled with 10 seconds left and made both high-pressure free throws to give Wesleyan an 84-80 lead.

Rob Moore put in a lay-up for Shaw with seven seconds left to make it an 84-82 game.

Shaw fouled Berchie who made one-of-two at the line to give Wesleyan an 85-82 advantage with five seconds left.

Shaw's David Madol managed to get off a three-pointer at the buzzer, but the ball missed its mark as Wesleyan held on to win by three.

Wesleyan shot 54 percent from the floor (27-for-50) and 78 percent from the free throw line (25-for-32).

Wesleyan (1-0) will now play Lincoln (Pa.) Saturday at 5 p.m. in the final day of the Retton Classic.