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Basketball ‘Cats tumble on the road to Yellow Jackets, 84-61

INSTITUTE, W.Va. – The West Virginia Wesleyan men’s basketball team fell on the road to West Virginia State 84-61 on Saturday evening. The Yellow Jackets shot 56% from the field and 48% from three in the win. The Bobcats outrebounded WVSU 34-33.

WV State’s Miguel Martinez hit a three just seconds into the game to start the scoring off. Darius Green was the first Bobcat to score on a driving layup not too long after. Ike Dove made a presence down low early by making a hook shot on his first shot attempt. The two teams traded buckets for five straight possessions with the Yellow Jackets leading 17-14 at the under-10 media timeout.

The Bobcats were able to get their points down low but three consecutive makes from behind the arc for WVSU pushed the lead to eight. Green came out of the media timeout and finished through contact at the basket for a chance at a three-point play but couldn’t convert the free throw. The Yellow Jackets hot shooting continued, hitting another three and knocking down a turnaround jumper as the shot clock expired to make it 38-25 with a little over two minutes left in the half. Anthony Craven Jr.’s corner jumper cut the deficit to 11 at the break.

Wesleyan made it 42-32 in the opening minutes of the second half until WV State caught fire from three, going on a 12-3 run to push their lead to 19 and make bead coach Derek Sloan call a timeout to regroup his players. The Bobcats were converting on the offensive end but so were the Yellow Jackets, opening up the first 10 minutes of the half shooting 11-13 from the field, holding a 66-46 lead at the under-10 media timeout.

The Bobcats had a few opportunities to trim the WVSU lead below 15 after they made consecutive stops on the defensive end. Wesleyan missed their chances, allowing the Yellow Jackets to get back up 19 with a pair of three-pointers. WV State would pull away to put the game out of reach.

Miguel Martinez led all scorers with 21 points for WVSU. Three Yellow Jackets scored 10 points apiece, including Malik Whitaker’s double-double with 10 rebounds. Anthony Pittman dished out five assists and blocked three shots to add to his stat line.

Craven Jr. finished with 20 points and shot 8-10 from the field to lead the Bobcats. Craven Jr. also led the Bobcats in rebounding with eight. Green closed the night with 16 points, seven rebounds and two steals.

Wesleyan will finish their two-game road skid at Concord on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m.

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