Despite foul trouble issues the Kentucky Wesleyan College men’s basketball team opened the season with a 76-74 victory over Montevallo on Friday night at the Small College Basketball Hall of Fame Classic. Dakota Quinn blocked the Falcons’ game-tying attempt to give the Panthers’ Head Coach Happy Osborne his 100th career win at KWC.
Wesleyan led 17-16 early before sprinting out to their largest lead of the game. Quinn dropped four points and a steal in a 10-0 run. The Panthers led by as many as 11 points with seven minutes left in the half, but the Falcons withstood the run to trail 37-35 at the break. The Falcons carried its momentum from a strong finish to the first half into the second as Julio Guity gave Montevallo a 46-45 lead by converting two free throws.
A three point-play by Bird Cardwell gave the Panthers a 50-49 lead with 11 minutes left. In the final 10 minutes Amir Warnock and Quinn got into foul trouble. Warnock left the game with seven minutes after receiving his fifth foul. Quinn was on the bench with four fouls. Nevertheless, Cardwell continued to get better in crunch time as he tallied 13 second half points while while Evan Milligan converted on two crucial three-pointers.
Montevallo’s Chris Williams three-point basket with two minutes left tied the game at 69-69. A minute later Daniel Dzierawski got to the rim for a lay-up to return a two-point edge to Wesleyan. Guity hit two charity shots with 37 seconds left while Dzierzawski built a 73-70 with 22 seconds left by converting his free-throws.
On the next possession, Cardwell fouled-out of the game as the Falcons made good from the foul line, but Rasheide Bell would convert on two foul shots of his own, building a 75-72 lead. Williams got an offensive rebound on the following possession with six seconds left and went to the free-throw line again to bring the Falcons to 75-74.
Dzierzawski would hit two key free throws before swatting away the game tying shot by Williams which led to KWC’s first win of the season.
Cardwell finished with 23 points while Dzierzawski added 13 points and five assists. Rasheide Bell finished with a double-double, 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The Panthers face the University of Southern Indiana on Saturday night in the Small College Basketball Hall of Fame Classic. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 PM CT and you can follow all the action LIVE on 94.7 WBIO, as the Legendary Voice of KWC MBB Joel Utley, in his 57th year behind the mic for the Panthers, has the call of the game!