The Wiley College men’s basketball team started fast but was unable to maintain momentum in a 94-88 loss to No. 8 Louisiana State University-Alexandria on Saturday in a Red River Athletic Conference game at Alumni Gymnasium.
The loss drops the Wildcats to fifth in the conference standings, trailing Huston-Tillotson University by a half-game for fourth and the University of the Southwest by a game for third.
The Wildcats (8-10, 6-6) outshot the Generals 42.6 to 41.1 percent. They struggled from 3-point territory only hitting on four of 23 attempts. LSU-Alexandria hit 10 three-pointers. The rebound battle went to Wiley College, 46-44. It was outscored 16-12 in second chance points. The Wildcats lost the turnover battle – committing 20 and only forcing 14. They were outscored 18-10 in points off turnovers.
Taylan Grogan (SR/Patterson, Louisiana) led all players with 37 points – marking his sixth game of scoring 30 or more. He went 14-for-26 and added three rebounds and three assists. Devin Ellis (JR/Beaumont, Texas) put up 15 points, seven rebounds, two assists and a steal. Stephen Taylor (SR/Houston, Texas) recorded 11 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals. Travious Grubbs (SR/Silsbee, Texas) was one-point shy from a double-double with nine points and 12 rebounds.
Wiley College led most of the first half. A layup by Grogan gave the Wildcats a double-digit lead. Devin Ellis scored two and-ones. They led the Generals by as many as 19. In the final seven minutes of the first half, Wiley College had seven turnovers and missed eight of nine shots. This allowed LSU-Alexandria to close the half on a 20-2 run and tie the game at 40.
The Wildcats briefly regained the lead at the beginning of the second half on a basket by Taylor, who scored on a steal. Wiley College missed three shots and turned the ball over three times which allowed the Generals to hold a 10-point advantage. It made a push with less than eight minutes left. Grogan scored 10 points, including a 3-pointer to cut the margin to four. LSU-Alexandria responded and increased its lead to 11. Wiley College didn’t get closer than five.
“We didn’t sustain our effort for 40 minutes,” head coach Chase Campbell said. “We’ll have to bounce back next week on the road.”
“This was a tough loss for our men,” said Brandon K. Dumas, Ph.D., director of intercollegiate athletics and vice president of student affairs. “I know they will work hard this week and get ready for Paul Quinn College.”
Wiley College will begin a four-game road trip at Paul Quinn College on Thursday.