Bishops Hold off Monarchs Behind McDowell's 23

Soph G Damon McDowell, courtesy Carl Lewis
Soph G Damon McDowell, courtesy Carl Lewis

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. - The N.C. Wesleyan College men's basketball team held off conference rival Methodist University 85-77 to pick up a solid conference win on Tuesday evening inside a raucous Everett Gymnasium.

Sophomore guard Damon McDowell led the Bishops with an impressive season-high of 23 points off the bench including three 3-pointers to help lead the Bishops to their second straight win and 17th overall.

Also finishing in double-figures in scoring were senior guard Chris Braswell and junior forward Ricardo Bullock with 14 points each. Bullock also played terrific defensively with a season-high of five blocks along with his team-high 8 rebounds with Braswell also pulling down 7.

The men got off to a good start shooting 50 percent from the floor in the first half while making 6 of 12 threes to take a 10-point lead of 45-35 at the break.

Unfortunately, the Bishops struggled from three-point range in the second half while Methodist would only make two threes themselves as MU rallied back from a 15-point NCWC lead with 8 minutes to go. They went on a 19-8 run to trim their deficit down to four at 73-69 with a minute to go. However, the Battling Bishops would then make all of their free throws down the stretch to grab the 8 point win.

Wesleyan ended up shooting an impressive 25 of 27 from the free-throw line (92%) while shooting 53 percent overall. Junior center A.J. Frye also finished with 10 points and 5 rebounds while senior forward Robert Wilson also added 8 points with 4 boards, 2 assists, and 2 steals as well. 

Sophomore guard Josh Covington had a good game as well finishing with a team-high of six assists along with 8 points and a steal while forward Mitch Layton finished with 6 points off the bench as well.

The Bishops improve to 17-3 overall and 10-2 in the conference with the win while Methodist falls to 9-11 and 7-5 in the USA South. Wesleyan is back in action on Saturday when they host Greensboro College in their second meeting with the Pride. Tip-off is set for 2 PM.