Washington
WVW

WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. – Mike Washington made a pair of free throws with 4.2 seconds left, and Winston-Salem missed a desperation three as West Virginia Wesleyan came away with a 57-54 win in the opening round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday.

Raymont McElroy netted 14 points for the Bobcats. Reggie Chambers (13) and Colby Wohlleb (11) each added double figures for West Virginia Wesleyan. 

Kimani Hunt registered a game-high 15 points and Justin Glover chipped in with 14 for the Rams.

Winston-Salem State raced out to a 10-0 lead in the first half; the fast start was capped by a three from Hunt. The Bobcats scored 18 of the game's next 24 points to go in front 18-16; Wohlleb ignited the run with a pair of buckets from beyond the arc and a traditional three-point play (nine of the 18 points). WSSU would go back on top 20-18, but West Virginia Wesleyan closed the half with a 9-2 jolt to go to the locker room with a 27-22 lead; Caleb Ashley sparked the run with a three that put WVWC in front for the remainder of the half.

West Virginia Wesleyan was able to grab the lead after the first 20 minutes--hitting on four shots from three, compared to just two for Winston-Salem.

The Rams opened the second half with a 15-8 sprint to go ahead, 37-35; Hunt drained a trio of threes from the top of the key to spur the run. The Bobcats got back-to-back traditional three point plays to retake the lead, 41-37.

WSSU grabbed a 54-51 lead with just a minute and a half to play; however, the teams would trade free throws and McElroy would drain a long-range triple to take a 55-54 West Virginia Wesleyan lead with 22 seconds remaining. Mike Washington would nail two clutch free throws to push the advantage to three with only four ticks remaining on the clock.  The Bobcats would hold off a desperation three to take the 57-54 win.