Panthers looking for second straight win

Nov. 20—The Kentucky Wesleyan College men’s basketball team will look for its second straight victory when the Panthers host East-West University Saturday afternoon.

Tipoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at the Sportscenter.

The Panthers (2-1) enter following Tuesday’s 72-48 victory over Midway on Tuesday, and they’re looking to continue that momentum against a relatively unknown opponent.

KWC coach Drew Cooper likened East-West to Midway, which actually led the Panthers 34-33 at halftime before Wesleyan pulled away in the second half.

“They’re similar in terms of athleticism and explosiveness,” Cooper said. “If we don’t guard, then it will be a long afternoon.”

One area where the Panthers got a big lift in their home opener, Cooper added, wasn’t on the floor at all.

Prior to Tuesday’s game, the Kentucky Wesleyan administration set up a new student section — in the Sportscenter’s lower seating area, opposite the opponents’ bench. Cooper hopes it’s a staple all season long.

“In any good college basketball atmosphere, the students are a part of it,” he said. “It really took a lot of hard work to adjust some very loyal season-ticket holders — who we need here, as much as our students. We need their passion that so many folks here bring. With that said, it wasn’t just to tell our students and ask for support, then put them up in general admission in the corner of the Sportscenter.

“Guys worked very hard to create this section, and it’s exactly what we had in mind.”

On the floor, expected starters for the Panthers on Saturday include 6-foot-6 junior forward Ben Sisson (18 ppg), 6-6 junior forward Jomel Boyd (13.3 ppg, 9.0 rpg), 6-1 junior guard Jordan Roland (11.3 ppg), 6-4 senior guard Wyatt Battaile (10.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg) and 6-foot junior guard Antonio Thomas (4.7 ppg).

East-West, which fell 105-63 to Purdue-Northwest in its only previous outing, will counter with a group spearheaded by 5-8 junior guard De’Quanii Jackson (21 points) and 6-6 senior guard Toraze Dobbs (15 points).

Earlier in the day, the Kentucky Wesleyan women (2-1) will square off against Missouri-St. Louis (1-1) as the Panthers look to bounce back from Tuesday’s 66-63 home loss to Illinois Springfield. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. in St. Louis, and that game’s action can be found on the GLVC Sports Network.