— Story by Taylor Kennedy
BUCKHANNON, W.Va. — The Glenville State Pioneers remain undefeated as they went on the road to defeat the West Virginia Wesleyan Bobcats, 106-85. The Pioneers extended their win streak to five regular season wins dating back to last season.
“I thought we were good and very poor in spurts. We scored over 100 points. At the end of the day, you have got to get stops. We are still not there. We have a whole new team, and we are still learning our rotations and press rotations. It has been a story of our year. If you follow our games, we either make these big 14-0 or 12-0 runs and put teams away, or we are coming from behind. All together it will be a good learning experience once we get back on Monday and watch that tape,” said GSC head coach Justin Caldwell.
The win was not easy for Glenville State. The Bobcats jumped out to an early 10-0 lead in the first three minutes of the game, which led to a timeout by Caldwell. Following the timeout, the Pioneers would answer with a 7-2 run leading into the first media timeout.
It would be all Glenville State for the next 10 minutes. The Pioneers would outscore the Bobcats 36-20. But here came West Virginia Wesleyan. In the last two and a half minutes of the first half, the Bobcats went on a 9-0 run. They would outscore the Pioneers 18-9 in the last five minutes. Glenville State led 46-41 at the half.
The beginning of the second half would be a dog fight on both sides, but eventually midway through the second half the Pioneers began to pull away. Caldwell says he cannot take credit for the way his team performed in the second half, instead he applauded his players’ effort.
“I am not going to take credit and say I made any adjustments. I just told them we have to play harder. In the first half, our press, we were not putting any pressure on them. We let them [Wesleyan] get comfortable in it, and we were not forcing any turnovers. On offense, we were stagnant. We did not put any pressure on the rim. They made the adjustments, not me. I think they played a lot harder, and I think we executed better,” said Caldwell.
Throughout the second half, Wesleyan and Glenville State would trade leads and tied a few times.
“Our pressure in the second half and the fact that we played nine guys versus their five, at some point the other team is going to fatigue, whether it is them missing threes or doing uncharacteristic turnovers eventually they will fatigue. Once your legs wear out then you cannot play. We just knew. We went on either an 8-0 or 10-0 run because of that,” said Caldwell.
Glenville State outscored West Virginia Wesleyan 60-44 in the second half. The Pioneers forced 18 turnovers, and of those forced turnovers they scored 23 points off of it. Caldwell gives credit to his team’s physical defensive play to the conditioning his team has gone through.
“I would not call it efficient, but I think that could be given credit to the fact of conditioning. They [Wesleyan] got tired there at the end, and I think they made a couple uncharacteristic turnovers, and when you have Nick Edwards he had seven steals. It makes it a lot easier when you have that guy flying around out there,” said Caldwell.
The Pioneers finished the game with five players reaching double figures. Caldwell gives credit to the team’s chemistry for the offensive efficiency by his team.
“They trust each other. That is our slogan. Every time we break in a huddle, or we leave practice it is trust. We just feel when we get a bunch of guys that believe and trust each other and share the ball in those big moments you will be pretty good. With seven new guys in our rotation out of nine, we have got to have that,” said Caldwell.
Among those five impressive performances, junior Adrian Scarborough tallied a season-high 16 points and eight rebounds. Caldwell was happy to see Scarborough play at a high-rate against Wesleyan.
“He works hard. He comes in and works. Even when he is not effective on the offensive end he is on the defensive end. Tonight, he was really good. He had six offensive rebounds, and when you get six offensive rebounds and shoot 8-11 from the field that is a pretty good night,” said Caldwell. With him, it is going to come with confidence,” said Caldwell.
The Pioneers Hegel Augustin recorded his ninth 20-point performance. He tallied 24 points against the Bobcats. Juniors Nick Edwards and John Williams recorded double-digit performances. Edwards scored 19, and Williams posted 20 points.
The Bobcats were led by leading scorer Jaylin Reed. Reed recorded his second 20-point performance in three games. Ross Young posted a season-high 20 points.
Glenville State will head back home and welcome Wheeling University for its next game on Wednesday. West Virginia Wesleyan will welcome West Virginia State University Wednesday evening.
Saturday’s men’s MEC basketball scores:
Fairmont State 95, Wheeling 60
Charleston 83, Notre Dame College 60
Davis & Elkins 67, Concord 56
West Liberty 134, Frostburg State 72
WV State 76, Alderson Broaddus 72
Saturday’s women’s MEC basketball scores:
Charleston 67, Notre Dame College 62
Davis & Elkins 67, Concord 65
West Liberty 98, Frostburg State 44
Glenville State 98, WV Wesleyan 53
Wheeling 79, Fairmont State 70
WV State 121, Alderson Broaddus 88