(FAIRMONT, WV) — The Pioneers Men’s Basketball team already did something in their first game of the 08-09 Season that they were unable to accomplish last season, defeat WV Wesleyan. The Pioneers raced out to a 20 point first half lead and held on for an 84-69 win in the GST Tipoff Classic hosted Fairmont State University.
Senior G Tryvan Leech picked up where he left off last year pacing the Pioneers with 29 points on 10 of 14 shooting, including 7 of 9 from behind the arc as GSC avenged three regular season losses to the Bobcats a year ago.
PIONEERS GO ON 8-0 RUN TO OPEN THE GAME
Junior F Rodney Lee came off the bench to hit 5 of 7 for 14 points. Senior G Chase Groves added 13 points while Junior G Jamal Holden had a near triple double with 10 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists.
Glenville State would connect on 10 of their first 12 attempts, as they would find themselves up 20, 38-18 with 7:39 to go in the half. WVWC would continually chip at the lead but was unable to make it stick as the Pioneers would go into the locker room up 50-31.
The Bobcats would quickly score six straight out of halftime to cut the deficit down to 13, five minutes into the 2nd half.
Junior F Gabe Gibbs and Lee would hit jumpers and Leech would connect on a three to push the lead back to 20 with 12:40 to go.
Two minutes later, Senior F Anthony Kimble would hit layup to put the Pioneers up 21, 67-46, the largest lead of the game.
WV Wesleyan would then catch fire, going on an 18-2 run to cut the lead to 69-64 with 6:06 remaining.
The two teams would trade baskets back and forth as the margin was still at five, 74-69, with 3:14 to go. GSC would then end all doubt, as they would the final ten points of the contest, started by another Leech three and a jumper by Groves.
The Pioneers shot an unreal 60.8% from the field and 55% from behind the arc. WV Wesleyan shot 41.8 % from the field and connected on just 5 of 22 from behind the arc for 22%.
The Bobcats were paced by 16 points from Jerel Thomas and 15 points from E.J. Lucas.
WVWC committed 14 turnovers to the Pioneers’ 26.
Pioneers return to action Sunday, November 16, 2008 @ 2 p.m. as they take on OSU – Newark from Joe Retton Arena.