ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. – Dontae Jones made a layup with 1:39 left and AJ Tilghman sunk a free throw as the Wesley College men's basketball team hung on to defeat North Carolina Wesleyan, 59-57, on Sunday afternoon at the Battling Bishops Roger Taylor Invitational. The Wolverines now stand at 2-3 while N.C. Wesleyan falls to 4-2.
Trailing by two with 5:07 left in regulation, Anthony Bowers hit a triple to give Wesley a 56-55 lead but the Battling Bishops answered with a layup with 2:24 left to regain the lead. The teams traded misses before Jones stole a ball from Shannon Huff and went coast-to-coast for what was the game-winning layup.
NC Wesleyan had two opportunities to retake the lead but came up empty and fouled Tilghman with 44 ticks remaining. Tilghman sunk the front end but missed the second, allowing the Battling Bishops the chance to tie or take the lead. After a miss, and a steal, NC Wesleyan took back-to-back timeouts with 33 and 14 seconds remaining.
Adrian Moore then drove to the basket and was fouled by Jordan Johnson, but missed the free throws. A Wesley turnover gave them another chance to tie but the Bishops missed three shots in the final ten seconds as Wesley prevailed.
Wesley led by as many as 11 points early in the first half but Bowers sparked a 17-7 run with eight points, including two threes, that lasted just over five minutes, giving Wesley a 22-11 lead with 12:47 to go in the opening period.
Johnson led Wesley with 16 points while Bowers finished with 13 and both were named to the All-Tournament Team. Jones was also in double figures with ten points and match Tilghman and Bowers with a team-high six rebounds. Tilghman also dished out six assists as Wesley was narrowly outshot 35% to 33%. The Wolverines did however shoot well from the line, sinking 17-of-22 (77.3%) from the stripe.
Wesley hosts CAC rival Marymount in the conference opener at 8 pm on Wednesday, December 3.