BUENA VISTA, Va. – AJ Tilghman scored a career-high 24 points as the Wesley College men's basketball team overcame a 17 point deficit to defeat Southern Virginia, 74-72, in overtime on Saturday afternoon at the Knights' Sports Arena. The Wolverines move to 3-4 overall and 1-1 in the Capital Athletic Conference while SVU falls to 1-7 on the year and 0-3 in the CAC.
Tilghman made 6-of-11 shots from the field and 11-of-12 from the line while scoring all of his points after the first half. His backcourt mate Anthony Bowers was also in double figures with 13 while Jason Forges added a career-high 16 points, eight rebounds and five steals off the bench.
Southern Virginia scored the game's first eight points and led 22-5 with 9:25 left in the first half before taking a 35-23 lead into the locker room.
Wesley was much more aggressive in the second half on both sides of the ball making 14-of-16 shots from the stripe and forcing 15 turnovers in the period.
Tilghman really came alive in the second half, scoring six of the team's first ten points as Wesley quickly cut the lead to just five points. After the teams traded multiple baskets, Bowers erased the deficit with a layup and a three-pointer off an offensive rebound by Forges who gave the Wolverines a significant boost off the bench.
With 10:50 left in the game, Southern Virginia regained a one-point lead with an old-fashioned three point play to make the score, 45-44, but a 12-2 run by the Wolverines, highlighted by eight points by Tilghman, gave Wesley its largest lead at 56-47 with 6:24 left to play.
The Knights fought their way back; however, briefly taking a 60-59 advantage on a pair of free throws with 1:51 remaining. A layup by Bowers but Wesley back on top and Tilghman added to the lead with two more free throws with 12 seconds left but Michael Neufville drained a three-pointer with 0.2 seconds left to send the game into overtime.
Neufville made a free throw to open the extra session but Wesley ran away with a 9-2 run before Daniel Toney sunk an insurance free throw and Tilghman was credited with a steal to seal the win.
The Wolverines are pff for two weeks before traveling to take on CAC rival York (Pa.) on Saturday, December 20 at 2 pm.