Bishops Take Division Lead with 93-84 OT Victory over Monarchs

Adrian Moore
Adrian Moore

Fayetteville, N.C. - Behind a season-high 33 points from senior Adrian Moore on Wednesday night, the men's basketball team of N.C. Wesleyan climbed atop the USA South East Division standings with a 93-84 overtime win at Methodist University. The Bishops now own an 11-3 mark in conference play, while the Monarchs sit a half game back at 10-3 in league action.

Wednesday's match-up in Fayetteville mirrored the two teams' January meeting in Everett Gym that saw the Monarchs grab a 7-point overtime victory over the Bishops. The second time around, it was Wesleyan's turn to spoil MU's homecourt advantage with the win in OT.

An exciting game from the tip, it was Methodist that looked poised to seal the season sweep after forging a 75-69 lead with 2:26 to play. The Bishops, however, closed out regulation with a 10-4 run to erase the deficit and take a slim 79-77 edge on a pair of Moore free throws with 39 seconds remaining. The Monarchs countered with an offensive rebound and putback from Rae Hall with less than 10 ticks left to knot the score for the eighth time of the night, 79-79. Wesleyan's last-second shot at the win was blocked, forcing the extra period.

The Bishops proceeded to score the first five points of OT, highlighted by a clutch trey from junior Robert Wilson. Methodist did not recover as NCWC went on to out-score the Monarchs 14-5 in the extra frame. Overall, the game featured 11 lead changes, with the biggest statistical difference coming in shooting percentage. The Bishops knocked down 34-of-77 attempts for over 44 percent accuracy, while MU connected on just 29-of-76 attempts for a 38 percent clip.

Moore had previously scored 15 of his points in the first half to help NCWC take a 45-44 lead at the break. Wilson then paced the Bishops in the second half, tallying 13 of his 22 points in the period. The duo narrowly missed a pair of double-doubles with nine rebounds apiece. They were joined in double-figures by junior Chris Braswell with 13 and sophomore A.J. Frye with 12. Braswell also dished out six assists on the night.

Davion Ayabarreno paced the Monarchs with a team-high 22 points, while Hall finished with 19. Jackson Whitley notched the game's lone double-double with 12 points and 13 boards.

Wesleyan wraps up the USA South portion of their schedule over the weekend at LaGrange and Huntingdon on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.