VIENNA, WV. (WFIE) - It was a career night for Ben Sisson as the Kentucky Wesleyan College men’s basketball team picked-up a Great Midwest road win on Thursday. The Panthers topped Ohio Valley 83-56 as the defense shined, forcing 22 turnovers on the evening.
The Panthers (9-13, 8-7 GMAC) got multiple people involved from the onset as six different players scored to start the contest. Mohamed Abu Arisha was the first to reach four points as his back-to-back baskets set a 13-6 lead in the first eight minutes. Nathan Boyle capped off a 14-2 run with back-to-back buckets from the perimeter as Wesleyan pulled ahead 21-8 midway through the period.
Defensively, the Panthers forced the Fighting Scots (4-20, 1-13 GMAC) into hurried shots. Creating more problems for OVU was the amount of deflections Wesleyan recorded by being active in the passing lanes. OVU totaled just two points in the final six minutes of the half while the Panthers eclipsed the Fighting Scots 11-2 in that span.
Adam Goetz ended the half with a three-point basket as the Panthers went into the locker-room with a 42-22 lead. Wesleyan shot 55% from the field in the first half. As the shots from the perimeter became a rarity, the Panthers kept going inside.
The Fighting Scots pulled within 15 points at the start of the second half, but a 12-2 run by the Panthers immediately erased the threat. Wesleyan held a cushion of 19 points or more over the final 12 minutes of the game. A 13-0 run late in the contest gave the Panthers a 32-point lead, their biggest of the night.
Wesleyan shot 62% in the second half and 58% for the game. OVU was held below 37% from the field on the night. In 21 minutes off the bench, Sisson pulled-in a career-high seven rebounds while also scoring a career-high 15 points. Sisson converted on six of seven shots from the field while also recording a block and two steals. Griffin finished with 18 points to lead the Panthers. Goetz added 16 points on the night.
The Panthers will travel to Salem, West Virginia on Saturday for match-up with Alderson Broaddus. The game originally scheduled for Philippi has been moved to Salem University. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 PM CT.