Concord’s Defense Keys 58-52 Win over Wesleyan - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Concord’s Defense Keys 58-52 Win over Wesleyan

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ATHENS -

The Concord University men's basketball team erased a 13-point first half deficit to gut out a 58-52 victory over West Virginia Wesleyan Monday night at the Carter Center thanks to a defensive effort that saw the Mountain Lions hold the Bobcats scoreless for over 13 minutes in the second period.

The West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory brought Concord's record to 11-7 overall and 7-7 in league play. The loss, West Virginia Wesleyan's sixth consecutive defeat, dropped the Bobcats' record to 8-11 overall and 5-10 in the WVIAC.

Concord had one of its finest defensive games of the season, the Bobcats' 52 points were the fewest allowed by CU this season as were Wesleyan's 15 field goals. The Mountain Lions also held WVW to a field goal percentage of just 32.6 percent (15-for-46). Wesleyan, which entered the game shooting 35.7 percent from three-point range, connected on just 7-of-26 attempts from long range.

The Mountain Lions' pack mentality rebounding attack featured five players with at least four rebounds, finishing with a team total of 41 rebounds compared to Wesleyan's 34 in what was a very physical contest. Sophomore forward Jordan Davis collected eight rebounds with senior forward Damien Tunstalle and senior guard Eric Bailey both coming off the bench to chip in seven and six rebounds, respectively.

Concord forced 15 Wesleyan turnovers while committing only seven of its own, a season-low. Tunstalle and sophomore guard Mike Boyd had three steals apiece.

The three-man attack of Boyd, Tunstalle and sophomore guard Thomas Brown scored 11 points each to lead CU on the offensive end. Davis finished just short of a double-double with nine points in addition to his eight boards.

The Bobcats started out on a 17-4 run in the games first nine minutes of action and seemed poised to run away with the contest, but Concord answered back by clamping down on defense and going on a 16-5 spurt of its own to cut Wesleyan's lead to just 22-20 with five minutes to go in the half. Davis and Brown accounted for eight points during the stretch.

A layup by Tunstalle with 1:29 to play in the half gave Concord a 30-29 lead, its first advantage of the game. The Bobcats retook the lead two possessions later, but freshman forward Nick Moyer's basket with 31 seconds remaining in the period gave the Mountain Lions a 32-31 lead heading into the locker rooms. Wesleyan went just 4-for-15 in the final 10:44 of the first half.

The Bobcats came out of the break to build a five-point lead when a three-pointer by Noah Cottrill put Wesleyan up 41-36 with 16:31 to play; the basket would be WVW's last points for the next 13 minutes. Concord proceeded to rattle off 16 straight points while Wesleyan went 0-for-11 from the field to take a commanding 52-41 lead with 3:20 left in regulation.

Wesleyan managed to outscore Concord 11-6 in the game's final minutes, but the Mountain Lions' earlier defense performance was too much to overcome as Concord went on to a 58-52 win.

Boyd scored nine of his 11 points and Davis grabbed all eight of his rebounds in the final 20 minutes of play.

Kelsey Williams led Wesleyan in defeat with game-highs of 17 points and 14 rebounds.

Concord will play the second leg of its two-game homestand 7:30 p.m. Tuesday against Alderson-Broaddus.