CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The troubles continued for the University of Charleston men's basketball team, which matched its longest losing streak of the season on Thursday night at Eddie King Gym.
Former Preston High School star T.J. Thompson scored 18 points to lead three double-figure scorers as West Virginia Wesleyan completed a Mountain East Conference season sweep of the Golden Eagles with a 68-64 victory.
In their meeting on Jan. 4 in Buckhannon, the Bobcats (14-9, 9-6 MEC) earned a 73-64 verdict, which gave UC its other three-game losing streak this season.
This time the Golden Eagles (13-7, 10-6) - who lose their third straight after an eight-game winning streak - struggled in matchups and to score in the paint with sophomore forward Aleksander Kesic. The 6-foot-8 sophomore scored most of his team-high 22 points inside the paint, although 10 came from free throws (4-5) and 3-pointers (2-2). His 10 shot attempts inside weren't enough.
Charleston had just 14 of its 64 points inside where the Golden Eagles make their living. However, Kesic said the difference was on defense.
"We didn't defend," Kesic said. "I don't think we played as bad offensively as we did defensively. We didn't execute some of our plays.
"They out-efforted us. We didn't close out on time and we let them get some 3s early in the game, get some confidence and that was the big problem. We let them have wide-open shots."
Conversely, the Golden Eagles were 8-of-26 (30.8) from 3-point range, where they are shooting just 35 percent for the season. The Golden Eagles entered the game as the eighth-place team in 3-point shooting in the 12-team MEC, so the Bobcats wanted to see if UC could win from the outside.
"Just lock up defensively," said 6-foot-7 senior and former Robert C. Byrd star Brett Ervin, who had 13 points. "We have to bring intensity to our defense and I thought we did a great job of that.
"Kesic made some tough shots over me, I was battling as hard as I could. He made some tough moves, but our team defense was tremendous today."
Wesleyan coach Pat Beilein said they did all they could against UC's top threat in the post.
"Against Kesic, you can only do so much," he said. "They're a good shooting team. Their 3s weren't falling early and we were lucky enough to hit some early.