OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) – The Kentucky Wesleyan College men’s basketball team made a furious comeback on Saturday afternoon only to see their effort fall in the final 30 seconds. The Panthers dropped a dramatic 63-60 contest against Walsh University at the historic Owensboro Sportscenter.
The first 20 minutes was a bruising affair where the Cavilers (13-5, 9-3 GMAC) took a 31-17 lead. The Cavs lead multiplied in the second half, leading by as many 21 points after scoring the first seven points of the half.
The Panthers’ (10-12, 5-8 GMAC) deficit remained 13 points (52-39) with 10 minutes left in the game. A quick two by JoMel Boyd followed by a Walsh turnover led to a three from Jordan Roland, bringing Wesleyan within eight a minute later.
Wyatt Battaile then connected on a three at the seven-minute mark to bring the Panthers to within five (52-47). The Cavs immediately answered with a three to push the lead back to eight. On the ensuing possession the Panthers missed three chances, but got three offensive rebounds before the Sportscenter crowd erupted with another Battaile three-point bucket.
The Cavs clung to a five point lead with 2:31 left in the game. Boyd then got to the rim and made it a one possession game, 58-55. A three by Owen Hazelbaker looked to stop the Panthers’ momentum. After two free throws by Battaile and a three from Roland, Wesleyan was within one, 61-60, with 20 seconds left.
The Panthers fouled and put the Cavilers on the line. Trailing by three points and 12 seconds left, Roland’s three flew left of the rim to end the game.
Battaile finished with 20 points and eight rebounds. Sasha Sukhanov recorded a double-double with 11 points and 16 rebounds. Roland added 15 points and seven rebounds.
The Panthers will travel to Cedarville on Thursday to play the Yellow Jackets. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:45 PM CT.
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