The Bulldogs hosted Hiwassee College on Saturday for a game that proved every second counts.
The Bulldogs sprinted to a 9-0 lead on five points from Derek Hosey and four from Devante' Jenkins. Jenkins' three-point play and a 3-pointer from Tyler Burse helped pad the margin to 10, 20-10, with eight minutes played. However Hiwasseee went on a 16-3 run to slip in front, 26-23, and the remainder of the game was a fight. Wesleyan regained the lead, 29-26, but the Tigers recovered to go back in front, 40-37, at the intermission.
Hiwassee netted the first five points of the second half to open an eight-point gap. TWC began to come back and finally pulled even at 55 on a "3" from Dante Turnipseed with 12:48 to play. With Jeremy Davison scoring six points and Burse draining a trey, Wesleyan went up, 66-62, midway of the half. The game was tied again at 67, 68 and finally at 76 with 2:46 to play.
A free throw and bucket by Hosey made it 79-76, TWC. Shannon Smith hit one of two free throws with 13 seconds remaining to keep the Bulldogs in front by two, but Hiwassee's Howie Meadows buried the Tigers' 12th 3-pointer of the game with 2.8 seconds to play, lifting the Tigers on top, 81-80. After a pass was tipped out of bounds at mid-court, Poe called a timeout to set up the final play. Smith lobbed an inbound pass over the Hiwassee defense as Burse rolled down the lane. Burse collected the pass and laid the ball up for the game-winning basket.
Jenkins finished with 19 points, six rebounds; Burse 17 points, 11 rebounds; Davison 13 points, five rebounds; Hosey 12 points and Smith six points, 11 assists, three steals.
The Bulldogs travel to Bryan College on Wednesday to play at 7:30 pm.