DOVER, Del. - The Wesley College Men's Basketball team extended their postseason streak to seven seasons, qualifying for the Capital Athletic Conference Tournament by winning the final three games of the regular season.
As the sixth seed, the team will travel to Mary Washington on Tuesday evening to take on the third-seeded Eagles in a first round contest at 8:00 p.m. If they win, the Wolverines will advance to the semifinals, traveling to second-seeded Salisbury on Thursday evening.
Wesley earned a crucial overtime victory at Frostburg State last week before sweeping a two-game homestand last week, downing PSU-Harrisburg and St. Mary's in back-to-back games. The squad has been taking much better care of the ball recently, averaging just 8.3 turnovers per game during that stretch. The team averaged more than 13 turnovers per game over the course of the entire season.
According to Head Coach Dean Burrows the wins have not been a result of a change of mindset or tactics, but rather just good execution and mental fortitude from the Wolverine squad: "In all honesty, there really has not been much change from our guys or from us as a staff," said Burrows. "We've continued to focus on fundamentals, and the team starting to believe more and more in what we have been saying all along: we are a great team and we can give anyone in our league a great game on any given night."
The Wolverines intend to do that on Tuesday night as they hit the road to Fredericksburg, Va. Games away from the friendly confines of Wentworth Gymnasium have given the squad some struggles, but the coaching staff has been encouraged by the team's play recently. "We found a way to get a win on the road in a tough place to play at Frostburg State and the game prior to that we had our opportunities down the stretch at Salisbury," said Burrows. "We love the environment, the atmosphere and the fans here at Wentworth, but in order for us to get where we want to be we will have to take our act out on the road, and personally that suits me just fine."
Wesley has had a balanced attack this season, with five players averaging at least 9.0 points a game. Rasahn Brinkley, Evan Anderson, Wayne Lennon, Anthony Bowers, and JW Lawson have each contributed solid numbers offensively and have found unique ways of scoring this season.
The Wolverines will have to key in on the Eagles' T.J. Jones on Tuesday evening. The UMW guard leads the CAC in scoring at 17.2 points per game and knocked down a buzzer-beating jumper to beat Wesley earlier in the year 68-67. The entire UMW roster likes to stretch the floor with the three-point shot, with the team averaging 24.2 three-point attempts per game. Wesley will need to contest their threes while also winning the battle on the boards.
"Our keys are going to be getting off to a strong start on the road, getting the best shot we can on each possession, staying in front of their guards on the perimeter, and running their shooters off the three point line with help on the back side," said Burrows. If the Wolverines can accomplish all of those things, they could pull off the upset against the favored third seed.
"We've been in 'must-win' games for quite some time now," Coach Burrows remarked, "So our guys are accustomed to the playoff-type scenario and we are looking very much forward to the opportunity that our guys have earned."
According to the Mary Washington Athletics Department, tickets for the game are $10 for seatbacks and $5 for general admission. No CAC passes will be accepted. UMW students, faculty, and staff will be admitted free of charge. Live statistics and video feeds will be available, provided by the Mary Washington Athletic Communications Department.