DOVER, Del. – The Wesley College men's basketball team outlasted the top team in the Atlantic East Conference, the Gwynedd Mercy Griffins, 86-83 to extend their win streak to three and sweep their three-game homestand. With the win, Wesley secures their spot in the first-ever Atlantic East Conference Championship Tournament, their 12th straight postseason appearance.
Wesley got to the free-throw line often in the first half, using those trips to the charity stripe to get out on a 21-8 run that gave the Wolverines the 30-10 lead with 7:16 remaining in the half. The Griffins would spend the remainder of the half chipping away at the 20-point lead including making three straight three-pointers to cut the deficit to 43-33 heading into the halftime break.
Gwynedd Mercy erased Wesley's lead in the second half. The Griffins took a 70-69 advantage off a Jeff Seigafuse layup with 6:33 left in regulation.
Gwynedd Mercy would not hold the lead for much longer as ten seconds later, Brian Cameron would drain a 3-pointer to allow Wesley to take back the lead. A 3-pointer from Rich Dunham drew the Griffins even with the Wolverines at 73 with 5:15 to go in the game. Each team would concede a jumper to tie the game once more at 75 with just under five minutes remaining. Another jump shot from Cameron would swing the final lead change in Wesley's favor, 77-75 with 4:40 left on the clock.
Trips to the free-throw line from Cameron and Evan Anderson gave some cushion for the Wolverines, resulting in an 82-75 Wesley lead with less than three minutes to go. Gwynedd Mercy would claw their way back with a 3-pointer from Matt Sommers brought the Griffins to within one, closing the Wolverine gap to 84-83 with less than 30 seconds left in the game. Cameron once again found himself at the free-throw line, sinking both to give Wesley an 86-83 lead with 20 seconds left on the clock. A desperation three-pointer from Dunham would hit the back of the rim as time expired, sealing the win for the Wolverines.
Battling foul trouble in the first half, Cameron would lead Wesley with his third straight 30-plus point performance. He scored a game-high 31 points, 29 of which came in the second half. During his sizzling second half, he was a perfect 10-of-10 from the field, 3-of-3 from beyond the arc and 6-of-7 from the free-throw line.
Anderson tallied 17 points and converted 9-of-10 from the free-throw line. Anderson notched five rebounds, handed out four assists and recorded two steals. Derick Charles registered 13 points, shooting 4-of-5 from the field and grabbing four rebounds. Terrence Braxton recorded eight points with a game-high seven rebounds while Tyrone Craven dished out a game-best eight assists in the win.
As a team, Wesley shot 60 percent (24-40) with six three-pointers and 72.7 percent (32-44) from the free-throw line. Wesley also edged Gwynedd Mercy in the rebounding battle 29-27.
Dunham, Seigafuse, Clayton Wolfe and Courtney Cubbage all scored double-digits for Gwynedd Mercy.
Wesley (12-11, 6-4 Atlantic East) is on the road on Wednesday, Feb. 13 when they travel to Arlington, Va. to square off against a familiar foe, the Marymount Saints, in Atlantic East action. The game is set for an 8 p.m. start.