Mo Berchie Scores 24 as 'Cats Beat UVa.-Wise, 77-70

Mo Berchie Scores 24 as 'Cats Beat UVa.-Wise, 77-70

WISE, Va.Mo Berchie fired in a team-high 24 points to lead the West Virginia Wesleyan Bobcats to a 77-70 road victory over the UVa.-Wise Cavaliers in a Mountain East Conference contest tonight in the Prior Center.

The senior guard from Leesburg, Va. went 9-for-16 from the floor, hit two three-pointers and also added three assists and two steals.

Wesleyan was red-hot from the floor shooting 61.2 percent hitting on 30 of their 49 field goal attempts.

The victory was the first conference win for the 'Cats of head coach Gary Nottingham as his team improved 1-2 in the MEC and evened their overall mark to 3-3 on the young season.

Up 5-4 early, Luke Layhew scored on a lay-up, Berchie nailed a jumper and Kevin Kangni drilled home a three-pointer to give Wesleyan a 12-4 advantage.

A Nick Brooks three-pointer gave Wesleyan an 18-7 lead with 13:05 left in the first half.

UVa.-Wise whittled the lead down to 27-25, but Layhew made a lay-up and Clay Todd swished in a 12-footer to increase the lead back to six, at 31-25, with 4:18 left in the opening half.

Still up by six, at 33-27, Todd made a jumper and Kangni dunked one down to increase the Wesleyan advantage to 10, at 37-27, with 2:31 remaining in the half.

UVa.-Wise went on a 4-0 mini run to close the half as both teams went into the locker rooms with the score being 37-31.

Luka Petrovic opened the second half with a jumper and Berchie unleased one of this three-pointers as Wesleyan opened up a 42-31 lead.

A Petrovic lay-up at the 9:29 mark treated Wesleyan to their largest lead of the game, 13 points, at 57-44.

UVa.-Wise trimmed the margin to 63-57 but a Kangni lay-up pushed the lead back to eight, at 65-57, with 4:36 left in the game.

With Wesleyan leading by seven, 69-62, with 1:43 showing on the clock, Berchie sank four straight free throws to increase the Bobcat lead to 73-62 with 32 seconds remaining.

Brooks iced the game away for Wesleyan in the final 30 seconds as he was a perfect 4-for-4 at the line.

Following Berchie in the scoring column for Wesleyan were Kangni with 15 points and Layhew with 10.

Layhew grabbed a game-high seven rebounds.

Wesleyan will return to action this Saturday at home when they entertain the Concord Mt. Lions at 4 p.m.