Basketball 'Cats Pull Away From UVa.-Wise For 11th Victory

Basketball 'Cats Pull Away From UVa.-Wise For 11th Victory

BUCKHANNON – West Virginia Wesleyan put four players in double digits including one double-double as they outlasted a scrappy UVa.-Wise team for a 73-63 victory tonight in a Mountain East Conference contest at Rockefeller Center.

Mo Berchie scored a game-high 22 points while Kevin Kangni added 14 and Fred Brondsted tallied 12.

Luke Layhew recorded the double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The win cemented a series sweep over UVa.-Wise for the Bobcats, who beat the Cavaliers back on Nov. 30 by a 77-70 score.

Wesleyan scored the first seven points of the game when Kangni knocked down two free throws, Layhew slammed down a dunk and Brondsted fired in a three-pointer.

Despite taking a 7-0 lead, UVa.-Wise dominated the next nine minutes as they outscored Wesleyan by a 22-8 margin to take a 22-15 lead with 7:26 remaining in the first half. It was the largest lead of the game for UVa.-Wise.

Clay Todd made a lay-up, and following a UVa.-Wise free throw, Kameron Hedgepeth dropped in two free throws and Luka Petrovic (pictured) went inside for a lay-up to cut the Cavalier lead to 23-21 with 6:21 left in the first half.

Down 30-24 with 3:40 left in the half, Wesleyan score the final nine points.

Petrovic made a free throw, Layhew downed two free throws, Berchie uncorked a three-pointer and Petrovic turned in an old-fashioned three-pointer to end the half.

Wesleyan went into the break with a 33-30 advantage.

With five minutes gone in the second half, UVa.-Wise retook the lead at 44-42, but Kangni unleashed a three-pointer to give the lead back to Wesleyan at 45-44.

Wesleyan still had a one-point lead at the 8:20 mark at 54-53, but Berchie hit a free throw and Todd turned in an old-fashioned three-pointer to treat the Bobcats to a 58-53 lead with 7:25 left in the contest.

With Wesleyan leading by a 68-63 score with two minutes remaining, the Bobcats didn't allow UVa.-Wise another point.

Layhew wrapped up the scoring with a dunk with 1:09 remaining.

Wesleyan hit 21 of their 55 field goals for 38.2 percent.

Rebounding was even as both teams pulled down 42 each.

Wesleyan has now won six of their seven games under interim head coach Jack Meriwether.

They improved to 11-10 overall and 8-7 in the MEC.

They will return to action this Saturday on the road at Concord in a MEC outing.

Tip-off will occur at 4 p.m.


(Photo courtesy of Brian Bergstrom/The Record Delta)