Basketball ‘Cats can’t hold early lead in 69-63 setback to Notre Dame

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Wesleyan men’s basketball team lost a hard-fought battle to the Falcons of Notre Dame College on Wednesday night 69-63. The Falcons used a 70% shooting effort in the second half to claim the victory.

The team’s second leading scorer Tyler Slone got the scoring started with a mid-range jumper from the top of the key. Anthony Craven Jr. and Slone scored the first 16 points for the Bobcats, the start of a breakout game for Craven Jr. The Falcons kept their scoring attack balanced with everyone getting involved in the offense early.

Out of the under-10 media timeout, the Bobcats led 16-15 after a Jalen Anderson jumper. The league’s eighth leading scorer, Darius Green, wouldn’t score his first points for Wesleyan until a pair of free throws at the 5:41 mark. Kabe Ellis hit a three in the closing minutes of the half to stretch Wesleyan’s lead to seven. Green connected on a turnaround jumper as time expired to give the Bobcats a 28-19 advantage going into the locker room.

Craven Jr. started off the second half with another 15-footer, giving WVWC their biggest lead of the game at 11. The Falcons were able to find their stride, connecting on their first six shots of the half to cut the Wesleyan lead to just 39-38 with a little under 14 minutes to go. Jalen Anderson began hitting his shots, scoring eight straight points to keep the lead with the Bobcats. NDC would take the lead with 6:49 left in the game on a Jaedon Willis three, making it 50-48.

The Falcons grew their lead to six after Willis and Jamarr Talbert Jr. connected on back to back buckets late in the game. Desperation started to kick in for the Bobcats and they had to start fouling. The Falcons were efficient in closing the game out, stepping up to the line and eventually winning the game there.

Willis led the Falcons with 21 points, including 6-6 from the free throw line. Talbert Jr. finished with 14 points on 4-7 shooting from three and Gbolahan Adio chimed in 11 points.

Craven Jr. scored a season-high 23 points to lead all scorers. Green fell one rebound shy of another double-double, scoring 13 points and grabbing nine boards. Anderson had 15 points, hitting from behind the arc three times.

Wesleyan will be on the road Saturday to take on Alderson Broaddus at 4 p.m.


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