Basketball ‘Cats suffer 108-53 loss to No. 22 West Liberty

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Wesleyan men’s basketball team lost to the West Liberty Hilltoppers on Saturday evening 108-53. West Liberty shot 54 % from the field and made 16 threes in the win. The Bobcats were forced into 25 turnovers, which WLU was able to turn into 35 points.

The conference’s leading scorer Bryce Butler put the Hilltoppers on the board first with a mid-range jumper, allowing them to jump into their full-court press. Anthony Craven Jr. scored a layup from Darius Green to get the Bobcats going. WLU got up 16-4 after forcing a pair of turnovers and converting in transition, making head coach Derek Sloan call an early timeout. Out of the timeout, the Hilltoppers kept the pressure up and continued to shoot the ball well, increasing their lead to 30-10.

Wesleyan went on their own 9-2 run, trimming West Liberty’s lead down to 32-19. A pair of Jalen Anderson layups sparked the run for the Bobcats. The Hilltoppers answered mightily, going on a 22-0 run in the last 4:39 of the half. Four makes from three and transition layups helped boost WLU in that run, taking a 52-19 lead into the locker room. West Liberty forced 17 turnovers and scored 27 points off of turnovers in the first half.

The offense looked much smoother for the Bobcats in the second half Jack Lewton scored the first six points for Wesleyan out of the break. The Hilltoppers continued their offensive production, answering any bucket the Bobcats made. Anderson carried over the momentum he had on the offensive side of the ball scoring at will from inside or from three.

West Liberty kept the press on, but the Bobcats were able to keep much better care of the ball. Wesleyan was only forced into eight turnovers in the second half leading to just eight points off turnovers for the Hilltoppers. Taking better care of the ball, WVWC was able to find better looks, shooting 12-26 (42%) from the field in the final half.

The Hilltoppers had six different scorers reach double-figures. Brent Sarson led all scorers with 16 points, shooting 4-7 from behind the arc. Butler was a perfect 6-6 from the field and finished with 15 points. Steve Cannady had 13 points, Alek West with 12 points, Christian Montague with 10 points and Finley Woodward also finished with 10 points.

Anderson had a career-high 13 points and 14 minutes of game time for WVWC. Anderson shot 6-9 (67%) from the field. Green had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Craven Jr. finished with 11 points and Jack Lewton had eight points to round out the top scorers for Wesleyan.

The Bobcats will be home once again on Wednesday to face Notre Dame College at 7:30 p.m. inside Rockefeller Center.


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