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Free-throw woes send Cavs to MEC loss vs. Falcons

Kevin Mays • Nov 20, 2018 at 12:46 AM

WISE — Free throws made the difference. A couple of big 3-point shots helped out, too.

Notre Dame College shot 78.8 percent (26-for-33) from the free-throw line to take a 97-86 Mountain East Conference men’s basketball win Monday over Virginia-Wise at the Prior Convocation Center.

The Cavaliers (3-2, 1-1) played evenly with the Falcons, except from the free-throw line. Virginia-Wise hit just 11 of 25 foul shots, just 44 percent.

View the photo galleries from Monday’s games

“If you look at the stats, we got 72 shots to their 60. We outscored them in the paint, we had more second-chance points, more fast-break points, more bench points. Everything you would want, but when you go 44 percent from the free-throw line, it’s going to kill you,” said Virginia-Wise coach Blake Mellinger.

STILL IN IT

Despite the dismal free-throw shooting, the Cavaliers kept pace most of the game.

Leading by one point with five minutes left in the contest, the Falcons got back-to-back 3-pointers from Drew Scarberry to spark a 12-5 run for an 86-78 lead with just more than two minutes to play.

“Those were some timely shots,” Mellinger said. “It was a situation where we had a good defensive possession and we just had a breakdown late. We lost him a couple of times and he made us pay.”

Redshirt senior Will Vorhees finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds for the Falcons (4-1, 2-0). Halil Parks scored 15, Larenz Thurman added 13 and Isaiah Sanders had 10.

Virginia-Wise got a 17-point effort from Cameron Whiteside, Briggs Parris scored 16 and Michal Seals had 10.

FALCONS WOMEN IN CHARGE

In Monday’s women’s game, Notre Dame College (3-2, 1-1) started fast and played strong the rest of the way for a 64-53 win over Virginia-Wise (2-3, 1-1).

The Falcons outscored the Cavs 20-4 in the first quarter.

“If we didn’t dig ourselves in a hole the first quarter, you know, we’re right there,” said first-year Cavaliers coach Jamie Cluesman. “When we hold Notre Dame to 64 points and force them into 26 turnovers, we’re expected to win.

“Notre Dame, they’re a great team. They’re very unselfish. They had, you know, so many weapons out there today. You know, we throw something at them, they would have an adjustment to it.”

Both teams struggled throughout the game with shooting, particularly Virginia-Wise. The Cavs shot 31 percent (22-of-71) from the floor, including only 3-for-18 (16.7 percent) from 3-point range. They hit just 6 of 15 free-throw attempts (40 percent).

“Notre Dame, their offensive style will fatigue you a little bit,” Cluesman added. “Our legs were a little bit tired. You know, we played on Thursday, we practiced on Friday, we played Saturday and practiced yesterday and played today. So it’s a little bit of rough stretch in our schedule.

“The shots will fall. Just today was a little bit rough,” the coach added.

SCORING

Notre Dame’s Seina Adachi led all scorers with 15 points, while Katie Karalic had 13 points and Jessie Stout finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Virginia-Wise got 14 points from Hanna Oliver, while Mackenzie King came off the bench to score 10 and Ashley Cullen finished with 10 rebounds.

UP NEXT

The Virginia-Wise men are home on Saturday against Lincoln Memorial at 4 p.m. The women are off until Nov. 28 when they host West Virginia State in another MEC contest at 5:30 p.m. at Prior Center.

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