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WV State beats Wheeling

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 1:34 PM EST
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INSTITUTE, W. Va.- The West Virginia State University men’s basketball team rolled past Wheeling, 86-68, on Monday night at the Walker Convocation Center. West Virginia State improves to 8-5 in the Mountain East Conference while Wheeling falls to 3-10 in the MEC.

Senior guard Glen Abram had a team-high 23 points and added five rebounds. Sophomore forward Anthony Pittman registered his 11th double-double of the season with 14 points and 20 rebounds. Sophomore guard Treohn Watkins took advantage of a rare start and contributed 18 points.

Both teams traded baskets in the opening three minutes, 7-7. A single free throw from Jihad Shockley and three-pointers from Abram and Watkins got the Yellow Jackets on the scoreboard. The teams continued to counter each other until the Cardinals scored four unanswered to go up by three, 13-10, with 13 minutes remaining in the first half.

After a media timeout halted the action, Wheeling went extended its run to 15-5 and increased the deficit to five points, 19-14. A quick basket by Savion Marshall-Hamilton then cut the deficit to a single basket, 19-16. The Cardinals were beginning to pull away shortly thereafter, but a three-point shot from Watkins that found the back of the net brought the deficit back to five points, 24-19, with 10 minutes remaining in the half. Wheeling added two points before the nine-minute mark to raise the deficit to seven, 26-19.

The Cardinals added another two points to bolster their lead with eight minutes to play in the opening period, 28-19. At this point, WVSU started to chip away at the deficit for the next four minutes with a quick 9-1 swing to get back within a single point, 29-28. Watkins drew a foul on a made layup before the media timeout was called at the five-minute mark. He was given a chance to tie the game with a shot from the foul line following the timeout.

Watkins sank the free throw to reset the game at 29-apiece. From the five-minute mark until the three-and-a-half-minute mark, both teams struggled to score with only two points being produced for each team. A quick jumper from Wheeling was then answered with a trey from Abram to shift the momentum in West Virginia State’s favor, 34-33. The trey from Abram sparked an 8-0 run for the Yellow Jackets to give them a six-point lead with two minutes remaining, 39-33. In the final two minutes of the first half, WVSU maintained its lead and went into halftime up by seven, 44-37.

In the first two minutes of the second half, the only scoring done by either side was a three-point bucket by Wheeling, 44-40. A pair of foul shots from Pittman finally ended the scoring drought and extended the lead to six, 46-40. The Cardinals tried to counter but West Virginia State kept up its five-to-six-point lead. At around the 15-minute mark, a 6-2 run by WVSU extended the lead to eight points, 50-42. All six points during the short stretch came from Pittman.

Over the next minute, Shockley and Abram each came up with tip-in baskets to give WVSU a double-digit advantage, 54-42. Marshall-Hamilton went on to score a quick six with two layups and an emphatic dunk to put WVSU up by 16 with 11 minutes remaining, 64-48. A three-point play for Wheeling reduced the lead to 13 points before the media timeout, 64-51.

Coming out of the media timeout, West Virginia State gained a 17-point advantage with eight minutes remaining. The Cardinals started to chip away at the lead and came back to within 11 points, 71-60, with six-and-a-half minutes remaining. The Yellow Jackets stopped the comeback there and were up by 16 with five minutes left on the clock, 78-62.

WVSU was in complete control in the final five minutes of the contest. West Virginia State went up by as much as 20 points, 86-66, when Abel Elias drained both of his shots from the free-throw line with 1:44 left to play. A conciliatory layup from the Cardinals in the last minute gave the game its final score.

WVSU dominated inside and scored 42 points in the paint compared to 22 points in the paint by WU.

The Yellow Jackets’ next game is at Davis & Elkins on Wednesday Feb. 24. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

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