Saturday, March 4, 2017

Kentucky Wesleyan Rolls Into Final of G-MAC Tournament

Kentucky Wesleyan blasted Malone 94-72 in the semifinals of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference Tournament.

The Panthers will meet Alderson Broaddus in today's championship game.

Here's a recap of the win over Malone:

OWENSBORO, Ky. – The nationally ranked No. 7 Kentucky Wesleyan College men's basketball team stumbled out of the gate in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference semifinal against Malone University on Friday afternoon. The Pioneers held an 11-point lead midway through the first half, but the Panthers stormed back with a 22-0 run and ultimately held on for the 94-72 win to advance to the G-MAC Championship where they will face the No. 2 seed Alderson Broaddus at 1 pm CT on Saturday at the Owensboro Sportscenter.

The regular season champion Panthers improve to 27-2 on the season and protected their home win streak that now sits at 47. The mark is the longest current active home winning streak across the NCAA, and is good for the third longest in program history. Kentucky Wesleyan also extended its overall win streak to 25 games, the longest win streak in a single season, and is second across the NCAA to Whitman at 27.

A back and forth opening 10 minutes saw the lead change six times before Malone pulled away with a 14-2 run over three minutes to take a 26-15 lead. Sam Williams led the charge with 8 points including back-to-back three pointers. Jordan Jacks contributed six points during the run with a monster dunk and a pair of lay-ups. Malone held the advantage in shooting percentage during the first half, but the Panthers took a 46-34 lead to the break.

Kentucky Wesleyan held a steady double digit lead the second half and reached a 20-point lead at the 8:49 mark when Malek Harris drained a pair of free throws. With less than five minutes remaining, a dunk from Michael Vigilance put the Panthers ahead by 24, their largest lead of the game.

Jacks led the Panther offense with a season-high 27 points while grabbing nine rebounds, including seven defensive. The senior shots 10-for-13 from field goal range. Ken-Jah Bosley and Williams each scored 15 points with Williams tabbing six rebounds. Harris finished with 13 points and nine rebounds while shooting nine-for-ten from the charity stripe. Charles Foster and Shaakir Lindsey both finished with seven points with Lindsey leading the team with four assists.

Kentucky Wesleyan dominated nearly every statistical category, scoring 30 points off of turnovers and 20 second chance points. The Panther bench outscored Malone's 17 to 8, and Kentucky Wesleyan scored 44 points in the paint to Malone's 18. Kentucky Wesleyan nearly doubled the Pioneers' total rebounds, tabbing 43 to Malone's 22.

The Panthers will face the No. 2 seed Alderson Broaddus in the G-MAC Championship at 1 pm on Saturday at the Owensboro Sportscenter. Kentucky Wesleyan won both meetings this season, 96-59 at the Sporscenter, and 77-63 on the road.

Stay up to date on all your Panther news by following @KWCpanthers on Twitter and by liking the "Kentucky Wesleyan College Athletics" Facebook page.

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