Rocky Mount, N.C. / Fayetteville, N.C. - The N.C. Wesleyan men's and women's basketball teams each picked up USA South wins on Wednesday as the Bishop men downed Averett by a 101-88 score at home and the women took down Methodist by a 71-56 tally on the road.
In Rocky Mount, the Battling Bishops capitalized on a stellar game by freshman Damon McDowell to secure the 13-point win over Averett. McDowell poured in 25 points off the bench, while grabbing six rebounds and dishing out six assists. The current USA South Rookie of the Week, McDowell tallied 18 of his points in the second half alone as Wesleyan out-scored the Cougars 59-44 in the period and finished the game shooting over 55 percent from the floor.
The Bishops, who trailed 44-42 at the half, found themselves tied with AU at the 14:35 mark, 52-52. A McDowell lay-up, however, sparked a 12-0 NCWC run that proved to be the turning point in the game. McDowell netted eight points during the run, including a pair of and-1 buckets. Wesleyan did not trail again.
In addition to McDowell, junior Robert Wilson chipped in 21 points and a game-high eight boards. Chris Braswell and Rico Bullock rounded out Wesleyan's double-digit scorers with 15 and 10 points, respectively, while AU's James Contreras led all players with 30 points on the night.
On the road in Fayetteville, the Battling Bishop women ran their win streak to three straight with a 15-point victory over Methodist. Wesleyan put up big numbers in the second and third quarters, out-scoring the Monarchs 44-25 on each side of the break. As a team, the Bishops collected a season-high 21 steals that they converted into 30 points. NCWC also held a 42-20 advantage in the paint.
Four NCWC players reached double-figures on the night, led by freshmen Kayla Johnson and Javana Jones with 13 points apiece off the bench. Vontasia Olds and Keorra Taylor added 12 and 10 points, respectively, with sophomore Caila Spruill grabbing a team-high six rebounds and six steals.
Both teams return to action on Saturday. Wesleyan's men (11-9, 9-3 USA South) host Berea at 2:00pm in Everett Gym, while the Bishop women (10-11, 7-5 USA South) travel to Mary Baldwin for a 2:00pm tip.