The Glenville State men’s basketball team used hot shooting from long range to hold off the host WV Wesleyan Bobcats, 91-86. The win moves the Pioneers to 19-8 overall and 13-7 in WVIAC play. The victory to end the regular season allows the Pioneers to finish fifth in the 16-team WVIAC, which matches the highest finish for the program since moving to the NCAA II level. More importantly, the Pioneers will now host a WVIAC tournament first round game on Tuesday, March 3, 2009 against Seton Hill University.
The Pioneers jumped out to an early 9-2 lead before the Bobcats called timeout. Out of the timeout, the Bobcats used a 12-2 run of their own to take a 14-11 lead. From there, both teams battled back and forth for the final 15 minutes of the opening stanza. The Pioneers would eventually take a 38-35 lead into intermission.
A Neven Zeravica lay-up 17 seconds into the second half trimmed the Bobcat deficit to 38-37 but the Pioneers went on a 10-1 run over the next two minutes to take a 48-38 lead. The Pioneers would spend most of the second half with a lead that hovered around 10 points as they continued to lead 52-42 with 13 minutes to play and 68-58 with 8:00 remaining.
The Pioneers would eventually push their lead to 12, their largest of the game, at 75-63 with 6:43 showing on the clock. The Bobcats then used a 6-0 spurt in just over one minute to trim the Pioneer lead down to six at 75-69 with 5:27 remaining. The Bobcats would get as close as five points in the final two minutes, but a Chase Groves’ three-point shot with 1:46 remaining pushed the Pioneer lead back to eight points at 89-81. The Pioneers would hold on for the 91-86 victory.
For the game, the Pioneers converted 53% of their field goal attempts, including a scorching 53% (10 of 19) from the three-point line. They also converted 85% from the free throw line and outrebounded the host Bobcats, 33-27.
Individually, Glenville State placed three players in double figures, led by Tryvan Leech’s 27 points. Leech connected on six of eight three-point shots, giving him 196 made three-pointers in his career. The 196 made three’s moved Leech into second place in school history. Further, Leech closed to within two career points (998) of joining the 1,000 point club at Glenville State College.
Anthony Kimble added support to Leech’s effort by collecting his seventh double-double of the season, as he posted 21 points and 13 rebounds. Kimble has had five double-doubles in the last seven games. Finally, Chase Groves added 19 points on nine of 12 shooting. Fifteen of Groves’ 19 points came after intermission and were critical down the stretch.
The Pioneers will play their final home game of the season in the WVIAC tournament first round against Seton Hill University. Tip off is set for 7:30pm.