Amidst another team effort, Justin Fritts and Pat Moseh posted double-doubles and led Wheeling Jesuit to its 11th-straight men’s basketball win, 96-77, over The University of Virginia’s College at Wise night.
Trailing 28-19 halfway through the first half, the Cardinals (16-1/9-1 Mountain East Conference) connected for the next 16 unanswered points and a 35-28 lead over a period. In the middle of the run of the night and down 28-26, Fritts pumped in three buckets in a row, two layups and a 3-pointer, and WJU never trailed UVa-Wise (3-13/1-9 MEC) over the final 25 minutes of the contest.
“We need to come out ready to play,” stressed WJU head coach Danny Sancomb. “We did a nice job over the last 10 minutes of the first half and the second half. Pat (Moseh) had a nice game scoring and rebounding the ball. Justin (Fritts) passed and scored at a high level, while our bench was very good .”
Fritts finished with a team-high 19 points, 12 in the first half, while he set a career-best 10 assists. Moseh totaled 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting and 10 rebounds, including three assists.
The WJU defense turned up the heat after an early UVa-Wise scoring burst. The Cardinals held the Cavaliers to 11-of-33 shooting from inside the arc and outrebounded the home team, 44-35.
“I was happy with our defense. It was a great team win. Eric (Siefert) was solid (at the point).”
Siefert was the third of four double-digit Cardinals scorers with 15 points to go with six rebounds and three assists.
The newly-crowned MEC Player of the Week, Haywood Highsmith contributed 13 points and four boards.
Forwards Kyle Ritz and Matt Stewart chipped in nine points apiece. Freshman Dom Tham made all four of his shots for a season-best eight points, while he grabbed five rebounds and swatted two shots of work.
UVa-Wise’s Dimitri Sousa dropped six 3-pointers and made 10-of-13 floor attempts for a game-best 30 points.
Sousa hit three of his treys in the opening four minutes as the Cavaliers jumped out to a 12-4 lead.
The UVa-Wise advantage tied its largest of the night, 28-19, on Sousa’s fourth triple at in the first half. The long-range shot turned out to be the Cavaliers’ last made bucket, while it had the lead all night.
WJU turned up its efficiency with a Siefert layup, before Highsmith stole the ensuing possession and made a pair of free throws to start the 16-0 game-deciding run. In fact, the Cardinals outscored the home club, 24-5, over the final 10 minutes and led 43-33 at intermission.
UVa-Wise pulled back to within six points, 50-44, with 16 minutes left, but WJU extended the margin. The Cardinals posted nine points in a row over a two-minute span, which was capped by a Fritts reverse layup for an 83-66 score.
The Cardinals will finally make a home appearance after playing its last four on the road. WJU host rival West Liberty night, , in a contest.