UVa-Wise Cavaliers fall short against the Cardinals

WISE - - Men's basketball dropped a tough one against Wheeling Jesuit Saturday afternoon, 79-72, inside the Prior Center. UVa-Wise held the lead for the majority of the game but were unable to get shots to fall in the final minutes as the Cardinals pulled away for the win.

Freshman Cameron Whiteside led UVa-Wise (7-15, 4-12 MEC) with 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the floor. Redshirt freshman Briggs Parris had 14 points while sophomore Jordan Pointer finished with 12 points. Freshman Kaeleb Carter also scored in double-figures for the Cavs with 11 points and added a team-high six rebounds.

Whiteside opened the game with a three-pointer before the Cavs pushed ahead to a 15-6 lead with 14:49 on the clock. Carter would extend the margin to double-digits on a slam before a Parris three with 10:43 to go put UVa-Wise ahead 24-11.

A Chance Sheffey three with 6:37 on the clock would give the Cavs their largest lead of the half, 29-15. Wheeling would slowly cut away at the UVa-Wise's lead in the final minute of the half with the Cavs still leading 39-32 going into halftime.

Whiteside put up 10 points in the opening half on 4-for-6 shooting from the field, 2-for-3 from downtown. Pointer scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half and led the team with three rebounds to start.

UVa-Wise went 15-for-31 from the field (48.4 perecent) and were 6-for-12 (50 percent) from behind the arc. Wheeling outscored the Cavs in the post 16-12 while UVa-Wise recorded 15 fast break points to four for Wheeling Jesuit. The Cardinals shot 48.1 percent (13-for-27) from the field and were 5-for-6 (83.3 percent) from the line.

Ahead by nine to start the second half, a quick 5-0 run by the Cardinals would cut the Cavs lead to four, 41-37, with just under 18 minutes to play. Wheeling's Steve Cannady would go on a 9-2 run, knocking down three shots from downtown to tie the game at 46-46 with a little over 16 minutes on the clock.

Whiteside's three with 11:50 to play put UVa-Wise up by nine, 59-50, for their largest lead of the half. The Cardinals would come from behind to tie the game once again, 63-63, with 6:38 left. Wheeling's 10-1 run with just under four minutes to play put the Cardinals ahead by nine, 73-64.

With less than a minute on the clock, Carter would knock down a three-point shot to put UVa-Wise behind by just three, 75-72, but another run by Wheeling would end the game with the Cardinals posting a 79-72 win.

The Cavs finished the closing half with 18 points in the paint to 14 points for the Cardinals. UVa-Wise struggled from the field to end the game, shooting just 39.4 percent (13-for-33), 30.8 percent (4-for-13) from three-point range, and 42.9 percent (3-for-7) from the charity stripe. Wheeling was 50 percent (13-for-26) from the floor in the second half, 50 percent (6-for-12) from downtown, and 88.2 percent (15-for-17) from the line.

UVa-Wise ended the day shooting 43.8 percent (28-for-64) from the field, 40 percent (10-for-25) from three, and 6-for-11 (54.5 percent) from the free throw line. Wheeling finished the game shooting 49.1 percent (26-for-53) from the floor, 38.9 percent (7-for-18) from behind the arc, and 87 percent (20-for-23) from the foul line.

Blake Mellinger's team gets back on the road for a pair of games next week with Fairmont State up first on Thursday. Tip is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

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