Wheeling Battles Back for Come From Behind Victory

Wheeling Battles Back for Come From Behind Victory Against West Virginia Wesleyan

Buckhannon, W. Va. – It was a defensive battle in Buckhannon, West Virginia as the Wheeling Men's Basketball team (6-13, 5-8) battled West Virginia Wesleyan. After scoring just 23 points in the first half, Wheeling rallied back with 39 second half points to pull off a 62-58 victory. Wheeling sealed the game from the free throw line in the final minute of the game as they completed the come back.

Coming out of halftime, Wheeling found themselves down 33-23 and were looking for something to spark their offense. That spark would come from senior Jordan Reid, who went to the free throw line and made both shots to start the second half scoring. Those two free throws would begin an 8-0 run to start the half as Wheeling brought the score to 33-31 with just under 18 minutes to play. Just a minute later, Jay Gentry and Brent Price each hit three-pointers to to tie the game at 37-37. Reid made a driving layup with 15 minutes to play and Wheeling would take their first lead since the 13 minute mark in the first half.

The teams kept their back and forth going as the clock ticked past the 10 minute mark, and the game was tied at 45-45. West Virginia Wesleyan looked like they were going to pull away with a 10-5 run that had them ahead 55-50 with five minutes to play. However, Wheeling would take the lead for good with a 9-0 run where Reid scored two points and Wheeling got a big three-pointer from Gentry as Wheeling took a 59-55 lead with 34 seconds left. Wheeling would clinic the victory when Gentry and Price finished the game from the line, going 3-4 as Wheeling one the game 62-59. Wheeling scored 39 second half points in the win, and played one of their strongest defensive games throughout the season.

However, early on, the script was flipped as Wheeling had trouble scoring and West Virginia Wesleyan took advantage. Wheeling would have a 5-2 lead early in the game, and would extend that lead to 9-6. Reid would score four of those nine points and Price added a three-pointer as defense reigned supreme early on. The Bobcats took their first lead of the game as the clock ticked past the 12-minute mark on an Ike Doce jumper. Offense was hard to come by throughout the first 10 minutes of the game with the teams combining for just 23 points during that time. 

After West Virginia Wesleyan extended their lead to 20-13 at the eight-minute mark, the Cardinals got a spark off the bench from freshman William Gabbert. Gabbert hit a three-pointer to start the run and added another bucket as Wheeling battled back to tie the game at 20-20 with six minutes left before halftime. Gabbert would add another three-pointer to give Wheeling a 23-20 lead, but that was the final points Wheeling would score in that first half. The Bobcats scored the find 13 points of the first half and went into halftime up 33-23. Wheeling would find a way to turn it around and pull out the win with 39 second half points.

Jordan Reid led the way on offense with 22 point on the night, and tired for the team lead with seven rebounds. He was one of two Cardinals t finish in double figures, as Jay Gentry finished with 14 points. Brent Price and John Korte each finished with seven rebounds, trying with Reid for the team lead, and Gabbert added a career-high eight points in the win. The win improves Wheeling to 5-8 in MEC play, and gives them some momentum as they return to their home floor. They get ready to welcome their alumni home as they show how the program has grown over the years.

The Wheeling University Men's Basketball team is back in action on Saturday, January 29th, when they host Davis & Elkins at 4 PM.

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