Late Second Half Surge Downs Wheeling Against Slippery Rock
Slippery Rock, PA. – At halftime of their Tuesday night contest against Slippery Rock, the Wheeling University Men's Basketball team (3-7, 2-3) were up 41-31. However, a second-half surge by the Rock ended up turning the tides as the Cardinals would end up falling to Slippery Rock 76-70. Wheeling kept it close through the final minutes of the game but just couldn't finish the game.
Early on, the two teams battled back and forth as the lead changed six times in the first seven minutes of the game. Wheeling started the scoring when their offensive leader Jarrett Hainesmade a layup that got the Cardinals out to a 2-0 lead. However, it would be a defense that reigned supreme after that as that was the only score for the first minute and a half of the game. At the 15 minute mark of the first half, the score sat at 7-7, with Haines scoring four of those seven points during that run. The Cardinals hit the threes that erased back-to-back Slippery Rock leads as fresh mention SuddethandTrey Stoffereach hit threes to give Wheeling a 13-11 lead four minutes later. Jarett Haines added another three, and Wheeling would lead 18-17 after 10 minutes of play.
Throughout the remainder of the first half, neither team would lead by more than four points until the five-minute mark on the game clock. Wheeling led 25-23 with 4:57 left before the half, and the offense would begin to separate themselves. They outscored Slippery Rock 16-8 over those final five minutes, with the biggest run coming at the end of the half. Wheeling scored eight of the final 10 points in the half and went into the locker room leading 41-31. Andrew Taylor went a perfect 3-3 from the free-throw line during the run and scored five of the eight points during that run. Wheeling was shooting 50% from the floor throughout the first half, and that was leading to their success. However, as the second half began, Slippery Rock got going and Wheeling would have to dig in their heels.
As the second half started, Wheeling continued to maintain their lead and was up 50-39 with 15:29 to play. Taylor continued his success from the floor, scoring four points to kick off the half, while bent Price added a fast-break bucket to keep Wheeling ahead by 11 points. Then, the Rock offense got going on a 12-4 run that brought the game to a 54-51 Slippery Rock deficit with 11:51 to play. While Wheeling was able to hold the lead, they had some work to do over the final 11 minutes of play. The Cardinals looked like they would pull away for good when they went on a 7-3 run that saw Haines, Price, andJay Gentryall get in on the action. With that run, Wheeling led 61-54 with eight minutes to play.
However, it took just five minutes for Slippery Rock to battle back and tie the game at 65-65 with three minutes to play. Wheeling has been involved in several last-minute games throughout the season, and the stage was set for another late-game showdown. Slippery Rock took the first advantage, scoring six of eight points to take a 71-67 lead. Wheeling battled back to make it a three-point game with 11 seconds to go, but it was too little too late as Wheeling fell 76-71. Brent Price hit each of the final two buckets for Wheeling and wrapped up what was his second double-digit day of the season.
SeniorJarett Hainesled the offense with 17 points and four assists as he not only shot the ball well but passed it around throughout the night. FreshmanTre Masseyhad a career-high day scoring 15 points and Brent Price added 13 points on the day. The Cardinals had three different players end the day in double digits and as a unit, they shot 41.9% from the floor and 41.7% from beyond the arc. On the defensive side of things, Andrew Taylor had a team-high eight rebounds and scored nine points in the game. Wheeling was perfect from the Charity Stripe going 9-9 and can build on that moving forward.
The Wheeling University Men's Basketball team wraps up the 2021 portion of their schedule on Saturday when they host Ohio Dominican University at 3 PM.