WVC basketball: UC, State lose ahead of Saturday's season finale
UC falls to Wheeling Jesuit in 2OT
WHEELING - Wheeling Jesuit's Justin Fritts might have sealed his winning West Virginia Conference Freshman of the Year honors and locked the Cardinals into one of the top four spots in the league's postseason.
The 6-foot-1 guard from Mentor, Ohio, poured in 25 points and Wheeling Jesuit continued its dominance of the University of Charleston on Thursday in an 86-80 double-overtime victory at the McDonough Center.
The Cardinals (17-8, 14-7 WVC), who are 5-0 against UC since Mark Downey became head coach of the Blue Eagles in 2010, had a chance to win in regulation, but a Ben Siefert 3pointer was off the mark at the buzzer.
Charleston's chance came in overtime, but Robbie Dreher missed a 3-point try. In the second overtime, Wheeling Jesuit scored the first six points and didn't trail again.
Recardo Gaddy had 19 points, Ben Siefert 18 and Eric Siefert 14 for the Cardinals.
Evan Faulkner led UC with 22 points, while Dreher added 20, Terrell Lipkins 15 and Xavier Humphrey 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Both teams conclude the 2012-13 WVC regular season on Saturday when they visit their archrivals. Charleston visits W.Va. State and Wheeling Jesuit visits West Liberty. Both games tipoff at 4 p.m.
State falls to Bluefield State on late layup
West Virginia State had six players score in double figures, but the final points in Thursday night's West Virginia Conference matchup came from Bluefield State's Treon Claiborne.
Roy Cooper had a game-high 34 points for Bluefield State, but it was Claiborne's layup with 10 seconds left that gave the Big Blues a 96-95 win over the Yellow Jackets.
Claiborne finished with 20 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists for Bluefield State, which improved to 4-17 in league play and 4-21 overall.
Jalen Walker led State with 19 points. Five others - Anton Hutchins (18), Stephen Thompson (15), Juan Johnson (11) and Kendrick Ward (11) - also scored in double figures.
W.Va. State (10-17, 7-14 WVC) hosts Charleston this Saturday at 4 p.m. in the regular-season finale for both teams.