BUCKHANNON – For three quarters, it looked like the West Virginia Wesleyan head coaching debut of Vicky Bullett was going to be a successful one when her Lady Bobcats battled the West Virginia University-Tech Golden Bears in a non-conference contest Wednesday night at Rockefeller Center.
After three-quarters of action, Wesleyan led by a 51-43 score, but a rough final quarter cost the Lady Bobcats as they dropped a 67-64 decision.
The Lady Bobcats committed eight turnovers in the fourth quarter and went just two of seven at the free throw line in the final 90 seconds.
The game started off well enough for the Lady Bobcats.
Wesleyan increased that lead to six, at 23-17, at the end of the first quarter.
The Lady Bobcats never trailed in a low-scoring second quarter.
West Virginia University-Tech outscored Wesleyan by an 11-8 margin, but the Lady Bobcats still owned a three-point lead at the half, at 31-28.
Wesleyan started the third quarter on fire as they scored the first 10 points of the half.
The 10-0 run gave Wesleyan a 41-28 lead, their biggest lead of the game.
West Virginia University-Tech whittled the lead down to 49-43, but Lana Long made a jumper to end the third period and put Wesleyan ahead by eight, at 51-43.
A Stacy Remer three-pointer opened the fourth quarter and Mortenson popped in a jumper as Wesleyan pushed their lead back to 13, at 56-43.
It was all West Virginia University-Tech after that.
They went on a 10-0 run over the next three minutes to close the Wesleyan lead to 56-53 with 6:15 left in the game.
A pair of lay-ups by Goldman and Remer gave Wesleyan a 60-53 advantage, but the Golden Bears went on an 8-0 run to take a 61-60 lead as they capitalized on five Lady Bobcat turnovers.
Remer made a free throw to tie the game at 61-61 with 39 seconds remaining.
West Virginia University-Tech scored the next four points to go up 65-61 with 13 seconds remaining.
Stewart turned in a three-point play after being fouled on her jumper to close it to 65-64 with three seconds remaining, but a baseball pass led to an easy basket for the Golden Bears as time expired.
Vandertoolen led the team in scoring with 19 points while Stewart had 16 points and a team-high nine rebounds.
Wesleyan shot 35.5 percent from the floor (22-for-62) and struggled at the free throw line connecting on just 17 of their 31 attempts for 54.8 percent.
Wesleyan won the rebounding battle by a 49-42 margin.
The Lady Bobcats (0-1) will return to action this Saturday when they host Fairmont State in a Mountain East Conference game.
The contest will begin at 5:30 p.m.
(Photo courtesy of Brian Bergstrom/The Record Delta)