Although at times, the conference opener for the Bulldogs was not as easy as the ending score would seem, the Bulldogs pulled out a 90-83 win over Montreat at home on Wednesday night.
Dante Turnipseed's "3" and following layup gave the Bulldogs a 12-9 lead. Shannon Smith then scored nine straight points with two 3-pointers and three-point play, opening a 21-15 advantage. Josh Williams had five points and Tyler Burse added a nine-point run of his own, capped by a trey, as the margin widened to 10, 41-31. Wesleyan, however, would see that lead shrink to five, 45-40, at the half.
The teams exchanged baskets throughout the second half with Burse, Smith and Andrew Scofield hitting 3-point baskets and Devante Jenkins providing 10 points off the bench. The Cavaliers clawed within one during the first six minutes at 59-58. Burse scored inside and Scofield converted a three-point play, opening a six-point gap. Wesleyan was clinging to a three-point lead when Jenkins tipped in a missed shot with 90 seconds to play. The defense got a stop on the next Montreat possession and Shannon Smith then hit six straight free throws to seal the win.
Shannon Smith tallied a season-high 31 points with seven assists, six rebounds and five steals. Tyler Burse had 23 points, seven rebounds; Andrew Scofield 12 points and Devante Jenkins 11 points, eight boards.
The Bulldogs play in an exhibition game at Lee on Saturday at 7:00 pm before returning home to play on Monday against Tennessee Temple at 7:30 pm.