Basketball 'Cats Handle Salem International in 77-64 Win

Basketball 'Cats Handle Salem International in 77-64 Win

BUCKHANNON – West Virginia Wesleyan put all five starters in double digits as they soared past the Salem International Tigers in a non-conference contest tonight at Rockefeller Center.

The Bobcats won a 77-64 decision.

Luke Layhew scored a game-high 19 points while Mo Berchie (pictured) added 17, Fred Brondsted had 16, Kevin Kangni contributed 13 and Clay Todd scored 10.

Layhew was red-hot from the floor hitting on nine of his 12 field goal attempts.

As a team, Wesleyan shot 52.8 percent from the floor hitting on 28 of their 53 attempts.

Layhew scored the first two baskets of the game as Wesleyan never trailed in the contest.

With Wesleyan up 13-10, Brondsted uncorked a three-pointer and Kangi darted inside for a lay-up to push the Bobcat lead to eight, at 18-10, with 10:24 left in the first half.

Following a Salem International free throw, Wesleyan went on a 9-0 run.

Brondsted made back-to-back three pointers, Kangni scored on a lay-up and Berchie sank a free throw as Wesleyan took a 27-11 lead with six minutes remaining.

Berchie raced out for a lay-up with four seconds remaining in the half to give Wesleyan a 34-20 advantage at the intermission.

A Brondsted three-pointer with 15:38 remaining in the second half gave Wesleyan their largest lead, at 22, at 49-27.

Over the next nine minutes, Salem International whittled that 22-point deficit down 10 as they outscored Wesleyan by a 24-12 margin.

That made it a 61-51 contest with 6:47 remaining.

Salem International couldn't get any closer though as Berchie dropped in a pair of three throws, and following a Salem International free throw, Layhew popped in a jumper and Berchie made two more free throws to push the Bobcat lead back to 15, at 67-52, with 4:44 remaining.

The Tigers outscored the Bobcats by a 12-10 margin over the final four and half minutes.

Victor Blakey led Salem International with 14 points.

The Tigers shot 52.0 percent from the floor (26-for-52) but was outrebounded by the Bobcats by a 35-21 margin.

Berchie, in addition to his 17 points, just missed a triple double as he had nine assists and eight rebounds.

Kangi had a game-high nine rebounds

Salem International dropped to 0-4 on the season.

Wesleyan improved to 2-3 overall.

They will be idle the rest of the week and will return to action next Wednesday as they travel to UVa.-Wise for a conference battle with the Cavaliers.

That game will tip-off at 7:30 p.m


(Photo courtesy of Brian Bergstrom/The Record Delta)