Men's Basketball Drops Nail Biter To Notre Dame
Wheeling, W. Va. – The Wheeling University Men's Basketball team (1-4, 0-0) opened their home schedule and Mountain East Conference (MEC) play on Saturday when they hosted Notre Dame College. It came down to the final seconds of the game, but Wheeling ended up falling in a nail biter 71-69. Wheeling had a shot with 0.2 seconds on the clock, but the ball just didn't bounce their way on the night.
Right from the get-go, the energy was high inside the Alma Grace McDonough Center in the first home game in front of fans in a couple of years. After the Falcons got on the board to start the game, Wheeling fed off the energy of that home crowd. They went on a 12-3 run over the first five minutes of the game following the opening bucket, and led 12-3 with 15:51 left in the first.Andrew TaylorandJarett Hainesgot that offense going with four points each during the run. The Cardinals would extend that lead to 14-7 before the Falcons were able to battle back in the game with a short 5-3 run that brought the game to 17-14. Haines hit a jumper as the tenth minute rolled off the first half clock, and Wheeling was staked to a 19-14 lead with 10 minutes before halftime.
Defense played big over the next four minutes of play as the team's combined for just six points as the clock ticked down to six minutes left before halftime. As the teams continued their back and forth, Notre Dame would take the lead for the first time since the opening shot with four minutes left on a three-pointer courtesy of Jadeon Willis. A 6-2 run had the Falcons up 33-28 in the final seconds of the first half, but a three-pointer byAndrew Tayloras time expired sent the teams into the locker room with the score sitting at 33-31. That three-pointer would turn out to be a big one that got Wheeling going once again in the second half. Wheeling shot really well from the floor throughout the night, and shot just over 40% on that first half and 44% from beyond the arc.
As the second half got underway,John KorteandJordan Reideach hit buckets that got Wheeling back in the driver's sear 36-33. However, the game would continue to go back and forth throughout the second half of the game, with six lead changes over the first 10 minutes of the second half. With 10 minutes left on the clock, Wheeling had the lead 53-51. However, that short advantage for the Falcons at the end of the first half would turn out to be the difference. Wheeling shot an impressive 61%from the floor, but the Falcons were just as good, shooting 53% from the floor. Each team put up 38 points in the quarter, and with four seconds remaining, Wheeling had the ball with a chance to win the game. Haines quickly brought the ball up the court and tried his luck with a three with 0.2 remaining. Unfortunately the ball didn't go through, and Wheeling would end up falling 71-69.
Haines and Reid were the offensive leaders for Wheeling, putting up 20 points each in the game. Haines finished the day with a double-double, grabbing a season-high 10 rebounds in the effort, while also leading the team with five assists. Taylor and Korte each also got into double-digits on the day, scoring 13 and 10 points respectively. Wheeling had a big day from the floor, shooting 50%, and added a 41.2% mark from three and 80% from the charity stripe.
The Wheeling University Men's Basketball team is back in action on Tuesday when they go on the road to face Aldrerson Broaddus at 7:30 pm.