Rocky Mount, N.C. - Freshman Evan Collins scored 13 points and collected a trio of steals, leading his Battling Bishop men's basketball team to an 82-77 victory over Methodist University in Wednesday night's USA South men's hoops action at Everett Gymnasium. The win avenged a heartbreaking loss at the buzzer to the Monarchs a week ago and leaves the Bishops with an 11-7 overall record, including a 4-5 mark in league action.
The Bishops, who led by as many as 17 in the first half, held a slim 42-38 lead at the break after shooting nearly 57 percent from the floor. Senior Cornelius Snow scored all 11 of his points in the period, knocking down 3-of-4 attempts from behind the arc.
The second half saw the Monarchs (7-9, 4-3 USA South) completely erase the early deficit to take their first lead of the contest, 61-60, with 9:46 left in regulation. MU would go on to lead by four points on two occasions over the next seven minutes, while the Bishops battled back to tie the score four times during that span.
Tied 73-73 with 1:55 remaining, senior Brandon Givens finally put the Bishops back on top when he drove the lane for a thunderous dunk that ignited the Bishop crowd. Methodist would manage two more ties, the latter coming at 77-77, but a Givens jumper and a trio of free throws from sophomore Chris Ford in the final minute secured the five-point victory.
Givens finished with a game-high 30 points and six rebounds, while junior David Gurganus dished out four assists. After getting out-rebounded 22-14 in the first half, Wesleyan bounced back for a 17-17 showing on the boards in the final 20 minutes.
Next up for the Bishops is Ferrum College at home on Saturday at 4:00pm. Wesleyan will be celebrating the 50-year anniversary of men's hoops all day, beginning with an alumni game at 10:30am Saturday morning and culminating with an alumni dinner that evening. Former players and coaches will also be recognized at halftime of the Bishop/Panther tilt.
For more information on the anniversary celebration, please contact Martha Proctor at 252-985-5213 or firstname.lastname@example.org.