OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - In the final second, the final play for the Walsh University men’s basketball team decided the contest on Saturday afternoon at the historic Sportscenter. The Cavaliers’ Kaleb Martin made his only field goal of the night, a three-point basket from the corner that upset the Kentucky Wesleyan College men’s basketball team 65-64. Martin finished with four points on the day.
The Cavaliers (1-0 GMAC), playing in their first game of the season, started the game with the same enthusiasm showcased in the Great Midwest Championship game a season ago. The Cavs defeated Wesleyan in last year’s championship and looked to run away early in the 2021 affair.
Darryl Slaughter could not miss from the perimeter in the first half as he made five of his first five three-point shots. Slaughter played every second of the game and by halftime collected 19 of his game-high 28 points. The Panthers (2-2, 1-2 GMAC) held a four-point, 16-12, lead after Wyatt Battaile’s three-point basket with just less than 14 minutes in the opening frame.
The Cavs heated-up from the field and went on a 14-0 run that turned momentum into their corner. The rally established a 26-16 lead with nine minutes left in the half, but the Panthers chipped away and went into the locker-room facing a 34-30 deficit.
The Panthers took care of business in the second half. The Cavaliers quickly built a 40-32 lead through the first few minutes, but Wesleyan spread the floor offensively getting high percentage shots while converting from the perimeter to take the lead. The Panthers outscored Walsh 18-5 over the next six minutes to take a 50-45 lead. Zach Hopewell forced the Cavs into calling a timeout after he drilled a three-point basket.
Wesleyan kept their foot on the gas as they continued to stretch the lead into the final minutes. Tre Cobbs was able to get the rim with regularity throughout the contest and with his free-throw with 5:24 left in the game gave the Panthers held a 61-53 lead. Battaile converted a pair from the charity stripe with 62 seconds left in the game that established a 64-59 lead.
Slaughter immediately got to the rim and made it a one possession game after a layup and foul with 44 seconds left. Leading 64-62, Cobbs saw his lay-up wiped-out after an offensive foul call with 17 seconds in the game. Slaughter saw a double team on his ensuing drive to the basket, he passed to an open Caleb Canter under the basket, but Canter miss handled the pass. Out of desperation, Canter flung the ball into the corner for Martin who convert the game-winning three. After the ball went through the net, there was two tenths of second left of the clock.
The Panthers shot 45% from the field in the second half and 42% for the game. Cobbs finished the game with 20 points and four assists. Hopewell added 16 points while Battaile ended the game with 14 points, six rebounds, and four assists. Ben Sisson came off the bench to add seven points, grab seven rebounds, make three blocks, and two steals.
The Panthers will host Malone on Monday afternoon. Tip-off at the Sportscenter is scheduled for 3:15PM. A decision on fan admittance will be made no later than 48 hours before tip off. If Daviess County is deemed in the “red zone”, fans will not be permitted.