Late comeback falls short as Panthers fall to Hillsdale

KWC men’s basketball return home Thursday
Published: Jan. 22, 2022 at 11:48 PM CST
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HILLSDALE, Mich. (WFIE) - It was a tale of two halves for the Kentucky Wesleyan Panthers on Saturday. KWC shot just 35% in the opening half and went into the break down by 18. The second half saw Wesleyan shoot nearly 57% and outscore Hillsdale by 11, but they ran out of time in the end as the Chargers took this one by a 77-70 score.

With the win the Chargers move to 13-4 (8-3 G-MAC) while the Panthers fall to 10-10 (5-7 G-MAC).

Antonio Thomas opened up the game with a turnaround jumper to give Wesleyan an early lead, their only lead of the game. Hillsdale built a large lead and began to pull away, going up 28-10 11 minutes into the half. With Hillsdale threatening to put the game out of reach, Edward Jones Jr. and JoMel Boyd each had back-to-back dunks to switch the momentum back in the Panther’s favor and HC went into the half up 45-27.

Wyatt Battaile came alive in the second half, scoring 16 of his team leading 18 points and hitting big shots down the stretch to bring KWC back in the game. Down 68-53 with 3:52 left in the game, KWC used momentum from a Ben Sisson layup and Nathan Boyle three to start storming back, getting as close as seven with 37 seconds remaining. Despite layups near the end from Thomas and Jamil Wilson, Hillsdale hit their free throws at the end to seal the game.

Wyatt Battaile led the Panthers with 18 points, followed by Antonio Thomas with 13 and Jamil Wilson with 12. Ben Sisson led with six boards while Jamil Wilson added five assists. After not scoring in double-figures for the opening 14 games of the season, Thomas has now scored in double-figures in six straight games.

Wesleyan shot 29-64 (45.3%) from the field and 6-18 (33.3%) from three. Hillsdale shot 26-47 (55.3%) from the field and 9-23 (39.1%) from behind the arc.

The Panthers will be back in action next Thursday when they host Malone in important G-MAC action. Tipoff is set for 7:45 p.m. at the Sportscenter.

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