DOVER, Del. - Brionna Johnson watched her team fall behind in the first half as she sat on the bench. Whatever message Head Coach James Wearden sent got across to the senior as she tallied 10 points in the second half and netted the game-winning putback with 0.9 seconds remaining to give the Wesley Women's Basketball team a 71-69 win in the season opener.
With the game tied at 69-69, the Wolverines got the ball back with 30 seconds remaining in the game. Tiyanna Gibbs set the offense and penetrated the left side pulling up for a floater with three seconds left. The shot went long but fell to Johnson who was camped out under the rim. The senior collected the miss and put up a contested layup that fell through, giving Wesley the lead with 0.9 seconds to go. The Pride tried to inbound to Emily Hardy on the final play but ran out of time before the forward could put up a shot to give the Wolverines the win.
Alexus Stroud led the Wolverines with 27 points, snagged six rebounds and grabbed three steals while Tiyanna Gibbs added 16 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals. Monshea Newsome-Murray led the Wolverines with four assists and swiped three steals as well.
Emily Hardy posted a double-double for the Pride, scoring 14 points and adding 10 rebounds. Devan Rimmer netted 22 points on 7-for-11 shooting to lead the team in scoring.
The Wolverines got off to a sluggish start, falling behind 18-9 in the first quarter. The Pride added to their lead, outscoring Wesley 17-14 in the second quarter to take a 35-23 lead into the halftime break.
In the second half, the Wolverines looked re-energized as Johnson and fellow senior Adriane Fraser keyed a run coming off of the bench. Alexus Stroud led a 9-0 run with seven points out of the gate, helping Wesley cut the lead to just three. After a Widener bucket, Fraser drilled a clutch three-pointer to bring the Wolverines within two. The visitors extended their lead back to eight points by the end of the frame, taking a 54-46 lead into the fourth.
In the final quarter, Tiyanna Gibbs opened the frame with back-to-back layups to cut the lead in half. On the next three possessions Brionna Johnson hit a layup, took a charge, and drilled a three to put Wesley ahead 55-54 with 7:34 remaining. The final six minutes featured five lead changes and three ties, culminating with Johnson's game-winner in the final seconds.
Wesley improves to 1-0 on the season and will travel to Neumann to participate in the Neumann Classic over the weekend.