It only took one big run and a Haywood Highsmith season-best scoring night. The No. 2 Wheeling Jesuit men’s basketball team produced a game-deciding 18-0 run midway through the second half behind Highsmith’s 27 points and overtook Glenville State, 84-72, night.
Down 49-45, the Cardinals’ trio of Justin Fritts, Eric Siefert and Highsmith netted two buckets apiece along with a Chase Lawson trey for the 18-0 run over a four-minute span and 63-49 lead. The Pioneers pulled back within five points, but the home defense turned the heat back up for the 12-point final.
With the 20th victory in a row, WJU improves to 25-1 overall and a Mountain East Conference-leading 18-1 mark. Glenville State dropped to 10-15 and 7-12 in the league.
“We knew Glenville would play us tough. We struggled and had to really work hard to get it in the second half,” said WJU head coach Danny Sancomb. “Our defense played very well in the second half. Glenville is hard to guard, and I think we wore them down in the second half and were able to score some easy transition buckets.”
The Cardinals defense held the Pioneers to 10 of 28 from the floor, outrebounded them 25-13 and forced nine turnovers in the second half, a half they won on the scoreboard 47-31.
“We found a way to win. We did a great job on the glass in the second half,” pointed out the Cardinals coach. “We ran the floor hard today running our lanes in transition.”
Highsmith tied his career-high with 27 points on his best and nearly-perfect shooting night of his two-year career of 10 for 11. The sophomore also posted his 11th double-double of the season with 10 rebounds.
“Haywood played very well on the offensive end . He is able to score in a lot of different ways from shooting the ball, off the dribble and inside. He can score in every way there is to score,” noted Sancomb.
Three other WJU players hit for double figures – Siefert, Fritts and Pat Moseh. After starting the night 3 of his first 10 shots, Siefert came back and made 4 of his final 6 and finished with 16 points. The senior added six rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Fritts pumped in 12 of his 15 points in the second half including a pair of 3-pointers. The guard grabbed seven boards and handed out a team-high six assists. Moseh chipped in 15 points and seven rebounds.
“Fritts has been terrific all year. He made some great plays, knocked down some 3-pointers and added some baskets in the lane,” added Sancomb.
Forward Kyle Ritz rounded out the night with 10 rebounds, nine defensive, and six tallies.
Glenville State’s Brett Morris led all scorers with 28 points on 11 of 16 shooting.
The Pioneers, actually, held the lead for a good part of the contest. The visitors led by as many as seven points, 36-29, late in the first half, before they led 41-37 at intermission.
Glenville State continued to lead over the opening seven minutes until WJU went on its 18-0 run starting at left in the game.
WJU completes its regular season home schedule afternoon, . The Cardinals host the Bobcats of West Virginia Wesleyan on Senior Day in a matchup.
Glenville State vs Wheeling Jesuit
02/18/16 7:30 p.m. at Wheeling, W.Va. -McDonough Center
At Wheeling, W.Va. -McDonough Center
WHEELING JESUIT 84, GLENVILLE STATE 72
GLENVILLE STATE (10-15/7-12 MEC)
Brett Morris 11-16 3-5 28; Sedric Nady 3-12 6-6 15; Jalon Plummer 5-12 4-6
14; Brien Winston 3-8 1-1 7; Andrew Johnson 1-3 0-0 3; Luke Campbell 1-7 0-0
3; Juwan Wells 1-3 0-0 2; Marcus Schofield 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-61 14-18 72.
WHEELING JESUIT (25-1/18-1 MEC)
Haywood Highsmith 10-11 6-9 27; Eric Siefert 7-16 1-2 16; Pat Moseh 4-11 6-8
15; Justin Fritts 6-12 0-0 15; Kyle Ritz 2-8 1-2 6; Chase Lawson 1-3 0-0 3;
Matt Stewart 1-2 0-0 2; Tim Goff 0-0 0-0 0; Drake Goddard 0-5 0-0 0. Totals
31-68 14-21 84.
Glenville State............... 41 31 - 72
Wheeling Jesuit............... 37 47 - 84
3-point goals--Glenville State 8-29 (Sedric Nady 3-10; Brett Morris 3-6;
Luke Campbell 1-5; Andrew Johnson 1-3; Brien Winston 0-1; Jalon Plummer
0-4), Wheeling Jesuit 8-27 (Justin Fritts 3-8; Chase Lawson 1-3; Haywood
Highsmith 1-1; Kyle Ritz 1-3; Pat Moseh 1-4; Eric Siefert 1-5; Drake Goddard
0-2; Matt Stewart 0-1). Fouled out--Glenville State-None, Wheeling
Jesuit-None. Rebounds--Glenville State 31 (Jalon Plummer 6), Wheeling Jesuit
44 (Haywood Highsmith 10; Kyle Ritz 10). Assists--Glenville State 13 (Brett
Morris 4), Wheeling Jesuit 21 (Justin Fritts 6). Total fouls--Glenville
State 19, Wheeling Jesuit 19. Technical fouls--Glenville State-Brien
Winston, Wheeling Jesuit-None. A-517