ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. - The N.C. Wesleyan College men's basketball team suffered their first conference loss of the season on Wednesday afternoon falling 100-95 at home to the visiting LaGrange College Panthers of the USA South West Division.
LaGrange got off to a terrific start on offense making their first five shots as they ran out to a 17-8 lead. It would stretch to as much as 16 in the first half before Wesleyan rallied to trim it down to five points. However, LC would take an 11-point lead into the break at 56-45 by shooting 56 percent overall and 46 percent from three in the first half. Wesleyan was right there with them as well shooting 51 percent overall and 41 percent from three.
The Bishops would then go back and forth with the Panthers throughout the second half trading shots before eventually going on a 33-18 run to trim LC's deficit to one at 94-93 after trailing by as much as 16 midway through the second half. However, the Battling Bishops could not keep LaGrange from making their threes as they again went 6 of 10 from deep in the half while shooting 48 percent overall and making their free throws down the stretch to hold off the hard-charging Bishops.
Wesleyan ended up shooting 51.5 percent for the game and 42 percent from three, but missed five free throws leading to their demise. LaGrange finished at 53 percent overall and 52 percent from three while making 18 of 22 from the charity stripe.
Senior point guard Chris Braswell led the Bishops with a team-high 30 points, tying his season-high along with 5 rebounds, an assist, and a team-best 5 steals. Current USA South Athlete of the Week, junior center A.J. Frye, also played well scoring 22 points on 10 of 18 shooting with 5 boards (4 offensive), and an assist.
Also finishing in double-figure scoring was senior forward Robert Wilson with 17 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals and sophomore guard Damon McDowell with 14 points and a team-best 6 assists. However, both fouled out late in the game.
Wesleyan falls to 10-2 overall and 3-1 in the conference with the loss while LaGrange improves to 7-4 and also 3-1 in USA South play.
The men are next in action on Saturday to host another West Division foe in Piedmont College (Ga.) at 2 PM on Youth Day.