Saturday, November 29, 2014

Kentucky Wesleyan Takes Care of Grand Valley State in KWC Holiday Tournament

Kentucky Wesleyan 61
Grand Valley State 50

Final from Owensboro, Kentucky

Game recap by KWC:

Kentucky Wesleyan warmed to the occasion in the opening round of the KWC Holiday Tournament on Friday afternoon.

Stone-cold from the field in the first half, the Panthers blistered the nets after intermission and pulled away from Grand Valley State 61-50 before a small crowd at the Sportscenter.

KWC (4-2) meets Truman State (2-2) for the title at 3:15 p.m. on Saturday, following the 1 p.m. third-place game between Grand Valley State (3-2) at North Alabama (2-2).

Panthers second-year head coach Happy Osborne minced no words when describing the calculation of his team's latest victory.

"It's my best win since I've been at Wesleyan —we really needed this one badly," Osborne said. "It's a regional game, and Grand Valley is a very good team. We knew it was going to be a battle, and that's what it was. I'm proud of the way our guys hung in there. It's huge for the direction of our program.

"Our defense in this one was like I thought our defense could be this year. We got after them pretty good, got them out of their comfort zone at times, and it paid off. We were pretty solid defensively the whole way."

Poor shooting by KWC, however, kept matters close in the first half, with the Panthers making only 7-of-26 shots (27 percent).

"We didn't play well offensively in the first half," said Panthers guard Ken-Jah Bosley, who scored a game-best 22 points. "We were a little more focused and we executed our offense better in the second half — that, and we continued to work hard at the defensive end. That was the key."

Bosley came up big down the stretch.

A free throw by Darren Washington pulled GVS within 51-45 at 5:22, but Bosley responded by making a 3-point shot, before converting a conventional three-point play that pushed the Panthers in front by 12 with just over four minutes to play. Grand Valley State never got closer than 10 down the stretch.

"Ken-Jah is nothing but a winner," Osborne said. "I give him a lot of credit."

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