BUCKHANNON - Freshman Chris Dewberry hit two three-pointers in the final minute Saturday afternoon, leading West Virginia Wesleyan to a key non-conference victory over California University (Pa.) 67-66.
Wesleyan trailed 36-28 at the half and by as many as 10 points in the second half at 47-37. After taking a brief early lead at 5-4, the Bobcats would not lead again until Dewberry's game winner in the final seconds. California had the ball for one final shot, but the Vulcans could not get off an attempt.
"We were facing their zone early and we were just flat," Wesleyan head coach Pat Beilein said. "We got caught just standing around and passing the ball around the perimeter. Once we got some energy and some movement, we started making some good passes and the guys hit some big shots."
T.J. Thompson led Wesleyan with 16 points, followed by Noah Cottrill with 15 and Kelsey Williams and Dewberry with 11 each. Williams produced a team-high six rebounds and Raymond Warren led with six assists.
Quentin Harding led California with 16 points. He was complemented by Mitchell Weedon with 12 and Keith Lowe with 10.
Wesleyan gradually carved into the Vulcan lead down the stretch. A Kelsey Williams dunk cut the margin to 59-56 and five consecutive points from Thompson tied the game at 61-61. A Harding trey put California up 64-61 with 1:18 left, but Dewberry responded with a corner three to knot the score again at 64-64. California went back up-66-64 with a pair of free throws with 43 seconds left, setting the stage for Dewberry.
"The thing about Chris is that his demeanor never changes," Beilein said. "Whether he hits 10 in a row or misses 10 in a row, you would never know. Down in the locker room, all the guys were saying 'big shots' and he just shrugged and said 'yeah.' That's Chris. He was probably the perfect guy for us to be taking the shot in that situation."
Wesleyan improves to 2-1 with the non-conference win. California falls to 1-1. The Bobcats return to action on Thursday, hosting Alderson-Broaddus.
Fayetteville State 90, Wesleyan 79
BUCKHANNON - Fayetteville State brought its strong and athletic women's basketball squad to West Virginia on Saturday afternoon, and FSU delivered a 90-79 non-conference road victory over West Virginia Wesleyan.
Coach Jackie Devane's Bobcats kept it close early, trailing 41-34 at halftime. But Wesleyan could never solve the effective Fayetteville offense as it shot 54.8 percent from the field (34-of-62). Wesleyan also was hurt by 22 turnovers.
"It was not so much the turnovers as much as our inability to rebound and get defensive stops," Devane said. "We had 28 turnovers in our last game, but we were able to rebound and defend.
"We are a young team, and they are going to make mistakes, but we if we are giving the opponent extra chances by not rebounding, we will make it tough to be successful."
Brittany Maxey led Wesleyan with 23 points, seven rebounds and three steals. The junior from Texas was an efficient 9-of-11 from the floor. She was complemented by Danesha Richardson with 14 points and Atavia Blake with 13.
Kristen Hanzer led Fayetteville with 25 points and nine rebounds. Shuanda Ashford added 18 points as four different FSU players hit double figures.
Fayetteville improves to 4-1 with the win, while Wesleyan falls to 1-3.
The Bobcats are back in action on Thursday night, hosting WVIAC rival Alderson-Broaddus.