ELKINS – The West Virginia Wesleyan men's basketball team let one get away from them tonight in a non-conference outing with the Davis & Elkins Senators.
The 'Cats led by nine at the break but wound up dropping a 79-78 decision in overtime.
In a wild last 40 seconds in overtime with the score tied at 72-72, Rickenjee Bellevue made a lay-up to give the Senators a 74-72 lead.
Following a Wesleyan time out, Fred Brondsted fired in a three-pointer to give the lead to the Bobcats, at 75-74, with 29 seconds remaining.
The Senators missed their next shot but Bellevue picked up an offensive rebobund and put the ball back in to give D&E a 76-75 advantage with 16 seconds left.
After another Wesleyan time out, Kevin Kangni hit a clutch three-pointer with 13 seconds remaining to give the Bobcats a 78-76 lead.
Wesley Sprinkle countered with his own three with seven seconds left to make it a 79-78 contest in favor of the Senators.
Mo Berchie couldn't get his lay-up attempt to fall at the buzzer for Wesleyan.
The first 12 minutes of the game belonged to the Senators as they opened up a 21-11 lead.
Wesleyan stormed back in the final eight minutes, blitzing the Senators by a 29-10 score.
Kangni hit a three-pointer at the first-half buzzer to give Wesleyan their biggest lead of the game, at 40-31.
D&E scored the first eight points of the second half to close it to 40-39 with four minutes gone.
Wesleyan pushed their lead to 51-46 but the Senators went on another 8-0 run to take a 54-51 advantage with eight minutes left in the game.
Wesleyan answered with a 14-7 run that was capped off by a Kangni three-pointer.
That gave the Bobcats a 65-61 lead with two minutes remaining.
Luke Layhew made two free throws that treated Wesleyan a 67-63 lead with 54 seconds remaining.
On their next possession, D&E missed two shots but scrapped for the offensive rebounds twice and was fouled on the second offensive rebound.
Bellevue made two free throws to close it to 67-65 with 36 seconds left.
Wesleyan turned it over on their next possession and Teron Owens made a lay-up at the buzzer to force the overtime session.
Kangni and Brondsted each went over the 20-point mark as Kangni tallied 23 points while Brondsted poured in 20.
Layhew just missed getting a double-double as he scored 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
Wesleyan shot the ball at a 43.8 percent clip, making good on 28 of their 64 field goal attempts.
Wesleyan outrebounded D&E by a 42-34 margin.
The setback ended a three-game winning streak by the Bobcats.
The loss left them with a 4-4 record overall as they head into their week off for finals.
They will play again Friday, Dec. 16 on the road at Bluefield State in a non-conference game.
That outing will start at 3 p.m.