BUCKHANNON – With Rockefeller Center shaking, the West Virginia Wesleyan Bobcats gave the No. 3 Fairmont State Falcons all they could handle and more tonight in a Mountain East Conference contest.
The Bobcats forced an overtime session with the one-loss Falcons, but ultimately dropped an 82-76 decision.
Ja'Sahn Johnson started the game with an old-fashioned three pointer, and following a Fairmont State free throw, Johnson made a lay-up to give Wesleyan an early 5-1 lead.
Following a Fairmont State basket, Soren Dossing uncorked a trey to give Wesleyan an 8-3 advantage with 2:27 gone in the first quarter.
The Falcons scored the next five to deadlock the game at 8-8 before Tanner McGrew made a lay-up to return the lead to Wesleyan, at 10-8.
Up 12-10, Wesleyan went on a 7-0 run.
Mo Berchie (pictured) scored a lay-up, McGrew added a free throw, Dossing made a short jumper and Garrett Grantham darted inside for a lay-up to treat Wesleyan to a 19-10 advantage with 10:46 remaining in the first half.
Fairmont State went on a 16-2 run to take a 26-21 lead before Grantham flipped in a pair of free throws to make it a 26-23 contest with 4:48 remaining the first half.
The Falcons extended their lead to 37-25, but Grantham drilled a three-pointer before the buzzer to make it a 37-28 game heading into the break.
Fred Brondsted opened the second half with a trey to close the gap for Wesleyan to six, at 37-31.
A 13-5 run extended Fairmont State's lead to 50-36 but Tilen Kodrin made a lay-up and and then an 11-footer to bring Wesleyan to within 10, at 50-40, with 13:10 remaining.
At the 7:17 mark, Fairmont State had a 60-47 lead but Wesleyan went on an 8-0 run to close the gap to 60-55.
Berchie popped in a jumper, McGrew hit a leaner in the paint, Berchie connected on a baseline jumper and McGrew made a lay-up during the run.
Fairmont State was still up five, at 64-59, when Brondsted fired in a three-pointer to make it 64-62 game with 40 seconds left.
Berchie stole the inbound pass and scored two quick points to deadlocked the game at 64-64 with 25 seconds remaining.
Fairmont State managed to get off two shots on their final possession, but missed both of them as the game went into the overtime session.
Wesleyan never led in the overtime period.
Fairmont State scored the first five points of the overtime period and Wesleyan could never get closer than three points in the final five minutes.
Berchie led the Bobcats with 22 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.
McGrew and Brondsted each tallied 13 points while Dossing scored eight.
Wesleyan shot the ball at a 50 percent clip hitting on 30 of their 60 field goals.
The Bobcats owned a 34-27 rebounding margin.
Fairmont State improved to 17-1 overall and 11-1 in the MEC.
Wesleyan dropped to 11-7 overall and 6-6 in the MEC.
The Bobcats will return to action this Thursday on the road against Notre Dame.
Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.