WHEELING, W. Va. – The Urbana University men’s basketball team suffered a 59-51 setback at Wheeling University Tuesday night in the Blue Knights’ first road test in league play.
Any loss stings, but this one hurts more as UU (1-5, 0-2 MEC) raced out to a 13-1 lead and remained in front until 9:43 remaining. After exchanging the lead seven times down the stretch, the Blue Knights went scoreless over the final couple of minutes as the Cardinals closed on a 9-0 run.
A Tehree Horn three put UU ahead with 2:47 left as the Blue Knights overcame a five-point deficit and claimed a 51-50 advantage. However, the Blue Knights couldn’t get the stop they needed. The Cardinals got to the line twice, and added a jumper with under a minute left to go back up five.
Senior point guard Jordan Bradley led the Blue Knights with 15 points, including 11 of the team’s 24 scored in the first half. Horn also reached double digits with 11. Sophomore Kyle Kegley grabbed a team-high nine boards with three points.
Both teams struggled to score in a scrappy first half of action that saw UU take a 24-17 lead into intermission.
The Blue Knights limited the Cardinals to 2-of-17 shooting to start the game, leading as much as 20-7 following a nifty left-handed finger-roll layup by Drew Thomas. However, Wheeling’s Emmanuel Ansong gave the Cardinals a boost by finishing the half with four straight field goals and trimmed the Blue Knights’ lead to seven at the break.
UU shot just 35 percent in the opening stanza while limiting Wheeling to 25 percent from the floor. However, the trend flipped in the second period as Wheeling shot 60 percent and outgunned UU – which shot 50 percent – 42-27 over the final 20 minutes.
Despite missing 10 free throws, the Cards still outscored the Blue Knights at the charity stripe by going 15 of 25. UU totaled just eight attempts and converted five of those tries from the line. Wheeling also held a 38-28 rebounding edge and used that advantage to outscore UU 12-1 in second-chance points.
Ansong powered Wheeling (4-0, 2-0 MEC) with a double-double by scoring a game-high 20 points to go with 11 boards. Jarrett Haines added 15 points and Jordan Reid scored 14 with nine rebounds.
UU returns home to host Concord on Wednesday, Dec. 4. Tipoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. inside the Grimes Center.