LaGrange, Ga. / Montgomery, Ala. - With its 11th straight conference win on Sunday, the N.C. Wesleyan men's basketball team has clinched the USA South East Division, finishing league play with a 13-3 record. The Bishops wrapped up conference play with a 91-87 win at LaGrange on Saturday and an 84-69 victory at Huntingdon on Sunday.
Versus LaGrange, Wesleyan trailed by as many as 18 points midway the first half after the Panthers came out on fire. LaGrange shot over 56 percent from the floor in the period, but the Bishops managed to cut the deficit to 11 at the break, 52-41.
The Panthers maintained control most of the second half and still held a double-digit lead, 73-63, with 8:03 to go. The Bishops, however, used a 14-4 run to knot the score at 77-77 at the 4:37 mark. Junior Chris Sause sparked the run with a trio of buckets off the bench, while freshman Damon McDowell eventually gave NCWC its first lead of the day with a huge three-pointer that put his team on top 80-77 with 3:42 remaining.
Though the Panthers would get as close as one point on three occasions down the stretch, Wesleyan did not trail again.
Bishop senior Adrian Moore notched a double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds, while sophomore A.J. Frye poured in a game-high 24 points. McDowell and Sause finished with 14 and 10, respectively, to lead the bench attack. Junior Robert Wilson rounded out Wesleyan's double-figure scorers with 11 points and eight boards.
The Panthers (12-9, 7-6 USA South) were paced by Travis Thompson with 22 points. LaGrange was out-rebounded 54-39 in the game, which resulted in 27 second chance points for the Bishops.
In Sunday's division-clinching victory at Huntingdon, the Hawks (8-14, 2-11 USA South) hung close with the Bishops over the first ten minutes of play, but Wesleyan would pull away to forge a 48-28 halftime lead. NCWC went on to lead by as many as 24 in the second half, with Huntingdon getting no closer than the final margin.
Frye paced four Bishops in double-figures with 18 points on the day. Moore and Wilson added 16 apiece, while junior Justin Tankelewicz chipped in 15 points after going 4-of-9 from downtown.
Now 15-9 overall, Wesleyan finishes out the regular season next Saturday at home versus Pfeiffer University. Head Coach John Thompson will be honoring his 2018 Senior Class prior to a 2:00pm tip-off in Everett Gym.