BUCKHANNON – A Tanner McGrew short jumper in the paint clanked off the front of the rim at the buzzer as the West Virginia Wesleyan Bobcat rally came up just short as they dropped a 60-59 Mountain East Conference decision to Wheeling Jesuit, the leagues' second place team today in Rockefeller Center.
Down 60-57 with eight seconds left, Wesleyan's Mo Berchie (pictured) fired in two free throws to make it a 60-59 game.
On the Wheeling Jesuit inbound pass, the Cardinals threw the ball into Justin Fritts but Berchie tied the ball up and the possession arrow belonged to Wesleyan with four seconds remaining.
Soren Dossing inbounded the ball in front of the Wesleyan bench to a cutting McGrew just before the five-second whistle, but the shot attempt wouldn't go down for the 'Cats.
The loss dropped the Bobcats to 9-4 overall and 4-3 in the MEC.
Wheeling Jesuit improved to 13-1 overall and 6-1 in the MEC.
In a highly spirited and physical contest, Wesleyan raced out to a 14-4 lead with six minutes gone in the game.
Wheeling Jesuit countered with a 13-2 run to take a 17-16 advantage.
Fred Brondsted fired in a three-pointer to give the lead back to the Bobcats, at 19-17, with 7:36 left in the opening half.
A Bronsted jumper at the 1:03 mark put Wesleyan ahead by three, at 26-23, but Wheeling Jesuit scored the final six points of the half to take a 29-26 lead into the break.
Wheeling Jesuit pushed their lead to ten, at 43-33, with 10:49 left in the game.
Down 51-42, Berchie hit consecutive treys to bring Wesleyan to within three at 51-48.
Still down 59-54, McGrew made a jumper and then added a free throw later to make it 59-57.
Wheeling Jesuit's Eric Siefert made a free throw to make it a 60-57 prior to Berchie's free throw.
Berchie led all scorers with 17 points.
Brondsted tallied 12 points while McGrew had nine points and nine rebounds.
Wesleyan will return to action this Tuesday when they visit West Liberty for a 7:30 p.m. conference clash.