VIENNA, WV (WFIE) - The Kentucky Wesleyan College men’s basketball team got back to its winning ways on Saturday with an 80-69 victory over Ohio Valley. With a winter storm looming, the Panthers proved to be early risers, leading for nearly the entirety of the contest. Four starters reached double figures in the Great Midwest victory while Mohamed Abu Arisha fell a rebound shy of another double-double. Erik Bell tied the game at nine before Tarik Dixon gave the Panthers (7-8, 5-4 G-MAC) the lead for good with a three-point bucket in the first five minutes. Wesleyan quickly ran its lead into double figures by the midway point of the first half, 26-16.
The Panthers equaled their biggest lead of the game after Nick Fort ended the half with a jumper, giving Wesleyan a 47-35 lead at the break. Bell finished with 10 points in the first half while the Panthers converted at 56% from the field, including a nine of 16 mark from the perimeter. Dixon buried another three-point basket to extend the Panthers lead to 15 (60-45) with 12 minutes left in the game.
Adam Goetz gave Wesleyan its biggest lead, 67-51, after his three-point bucket with seven minutes left in the contest. The Scots (6-9, 2-8 G-MAC) did get the deficit back into single digits in the last four minutes, but as they over sold their own defensive pressure, the Panthers found easy paths to the basket to maintain a comfortable lead. Bell finished the game with 18 points and six assists. Goetz added 17 points and five assists. The duo combined for 11 assists against three turnovers. Abu Arisha scored 16 points and pulled in a team-high nine rebounds.
Tyler Bezold also finished in double figures as he recorded 11 points in a return to the starting line-up. After three games on the road, the Panthers will be back home on Thursday against the top teams in the Great Midwest Conference. On Thursday Wesleyan will host Hillsdale. Tip-off at the historic Sportscenter is scheduled for 7:45PM CT.