Snapp scores 22 as Blue Knights knock off WJU

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WHEELING, W. Va. – Urbana University snapped its 11-game losing streak by holding on to defeat Wheeling Jesuit, 95-93, in MEC men’s basketball.

UU improved to 6-19 (4-17 MEC) overall and now holds a 5-3 record when leading at halftime. The Blue Knights dominated the opening period against the Cardinals to build a 16-point advantage, 52-36, at the break. WJU entered the game with wins in six of the past seven outings, but dropped to 8-19 (7-14 MEC) following the loss.

UU’s Ethan Snapp went 4 of 8 from beyond the arc and finished with a team-high 22 points along with five boards and three steals. Malik Jacobs nearly posted a double-double with 21 points and nine boards, while Mike Ryan broke out with 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting. In addition, point guards Jordan Bradley (13 pts, 4 asts) and Datrey Long (10 pts, 8 rebs, 4 asts) were solid contributors.

WJU claimed an early 8-7 lead, but UU quickly responded with a 10-0 run capped by a Long dunk.

The Blue Knights never trailed the rest of the way.

Midway through the first half, Ryan caught fire off the bench and buried back-to-back threes to ignite an 8-0 run. That put UU ahead 41-24 with six minutes until halftime as the Blue Knights played their best half of basketball all year. A Jacobs layup near the buzzer gave UU a 52-36 lead at the break while shooting 59 percent as a team.

However, the host Cardinals weren’t out.

WJU fought back with a 13-0 run in the second half to make it a five-point game with 12:50 left, 60-55. But the Blue Knights had an answer for every threat.

Bradley stopped the run with a layup and then a 3-pointer from Long put UU back ahead by double digits, 67-57. After WJU climbed back again and tied the score at 85-85, the veteran Jacobs drove hard to the rim for a quick layup with three minutes left.

UU was clinging to the lead as the Cardinals drained a three with three seconds left to make it a one-point game. After a quick foul, Long hit 1 of 2 free throws and the Cardinals didn’t get a shot off at the end.

The Blue Knights’ 18-point advantage early in the second half was the largest lead in a game all year.

Both teams knocked down 13 threes with WJU hitting 8 of 13 attempts in the second half.

UU held the edge on the glass, 40-33, and outscored WJU in bench points, 30-17.

UU hosts Notre Dame College in the season finale Saturday with a 4 p.m. tipoff.

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