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KWC men’s basketball fall to Ashland in overtime

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Published: Jan. 8, 2022 at 11:35 PM CST
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ASHLAND, Ohio. (WFIE) - There were dramatic shifts in emotion on Saturday afternoon for the Kentucky Wesleyan College men’s basketball team. The Panthers erased a double-digit deficit late in the second half, only to fall 74-63 in overtime to Great Midwest newcomer Ashland University. The Panthers flexed defensively in the second half while clicking offensively in nearly pulling-off a valuable road victory.

Uncharacteristically, the Panthers (9-6, 4-5 GMAC) were forced into seven turnovers in the opening half and converted at 42% from the field. The Eagles took advantage and went into the locker-room with a 38-27 lead.

The Panthers flipped the script in the second half, specifically in the final 10 minutes of regulation. Ashland (7-5, 4-2 GMAC) held a 10-point lead (53-43) with 11 minutes left in the game. In the next two minutes the Panthers cut the deficit to four. Nathan Boyle buried a three-point basket to pull Wesleyan to 53-49 with 8:47 left in the game.

Jordan Roland got the Panthers within one with a three-point jumper of his own at the seven minute mark and later gave Wesleyan a 56-55 lead with three minutes left in the game. Yet again the Panthers navigated into the final minute of a game with the balance sitting at one possession.

Antonio Thomas with five straight points gave the Panthers a 61-57 lead 88 seconds left in the contest. A Wesleyan turnover led to an Eagles basket with 22 seconds left. Ashland with fouls to give was aggressively guarding the ball in the final seconds, fouling twice before another Panther turnover led to the game-tying basket. Roland had a look at the game-winner in the final 10 seconds, but his shot missed and the contest went into overtime.

The Panthers shot 53% in the second half and held the Eagles to 33% (10 of 30) in the frame. Both Roland and Thomas scored 12 points in the second half.

Ashland outscored the Panthers 13-2 in overtime to pick-up the win. Roland scored 18 points while Thomas added 16 points, three assists, and three rebounds. Wyatt Battaile recorded 10 points, six rebounds, and three assists.

The Panthers’ road trip continues on Thursday as they will be in Salem, West Virginia for a match-up with Salem University. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 PM CT.

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