Wheeling Jesuit Outlasts Concord, 71-63 - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Wheeling Jesuit Outlasts Concord, 71-63

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Senior forward Damien Tunstalle knocked down five three-pointers and scored a game-high 20 points, but the Concord University men's basketball team came up short at Wheeling Jesuit, losing 71-63 on the road Thursday night in West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play.

Concord falls to 10-7 overall and 6-7 in the WVIAC. Wheeling Jesuit improves to 11-8 overall and 7-7 in league play with the win. The contest featured six ties and eight lead changes.

Tunstalle's 20-point night was his highest scoring output since going for 21 points at West Virginia Tech on Dec. 15. Tunstalle finished the game 7-for-12 from the field overall and 5-for-9 from three-point range. The five three's matched a career-high for the senior. He also made a team-high three steals.

Sophomore guard Mike Boyd added 12 points and a game-high eight assists while freshman guard Cam Shannon chipped in a career-high 10 points.

Sophomore guard Thomas Brown and sophomore forward Jordan Davis scored nine and eight points, respectively. Davis and junior forward Nick Ruffin finished tied for the team-lead in rebounds with four each.

In what was a game of runs, Concord turned an early 7-4 deficit into an 18-9 lead at the 11:36 mark in the first half thanks in part to a pair of three-pointers from Tunstalle. Wheeling Jesuit cut away at the CU lead for the next six minutes, eventually tying the game at 23-23 with 5:01 to play in the period.

The lead proceeded to change hands three times over the final five minutes until a jumper by Davis with 13 seconds left sent both teams into the locker rooms tied at 30-30.

The Mountain Lions fired off eight consecutive points to start the second half behind six points from Boyd and pair of free throws from Shannon. Wheeling Jesuit's Ben Siefert answered the run with eight straight points of his own to tie the game at 38-38 with 15:27 to play in regulation.

The Cardinals went on to build what seemed like a comfortable 11-point lead (61-50) over the next eight minutes, but Concord stormed back with another run to cut the deficit back down to just two points (61-59) at the 4:46 mark in the period. The Maroon and Gray's spurt was once again sparked by a pair of three-pointers from Tunstalle.

However, one final run by Wheeling Jesuit proved to be too much for Concord as the Cardinals pushed their lead back to six points with two minutes to play before converting six consecutive free throws down the stretch to escape with the 71-63 win.

Concord and Wheeling Jesuit put up nearly identical numbers in a contest that was anyone's game until the final seconds. CU shot 45.7 percent from the field, had eight three pointers, 10 steals and 23 turnovers. WJU countered by shooting 46.4 percent with six three-pointers, nine steals and 20 turnovers. The Cardinals did out rebound Concord 33-24.

Siefert paced Wheeling Jesuit with 19 points and six assists.

Concord returns to the Carter Center for back-to-back games, February 4-5, against West Virginia Wesleyan and Alderson-Broaddus. Both games are slated for a 7:30 p.m. start time.