Wiley Sports Information

NEW ORLEANS — In a game that came down to the final possession, the 22nd-ranked Wiley College men’s basketball team needed a couple more plays to go its way in a 72-70 overtime loss to Xavier University of Louisiana at the Convocation Center on Wednesday.

The Wildcats trailed by four with 1:24 left in regulation. Jamir Cheek hit a three-pointer. Travious Grubbs stole the ball. He passed to Taylor, who found Cheek wide open for a layup, which gave them a one-point lead with 23 seconds left. A foul with six seconds left allowed Xavier to tie the game at the free-throw line.

Stephen Taylor hit a jumper and a 3-pointer to give Wiley College the lead early in overtime. It was held scoreless for two minutes as it turned the ball over three times. This allowed Xavier to score six straight points and take a three-point lead. Devlon Noble got a basket to cut it to one. The Wildcats had two chances to regain the lead but turned the ball over. The Gold Rush missed two free throws but got the offensive rebound which ran three seconds off the clock. They split their next free throws, giving Wiley College one more chance. Its last-second 3-pointer was off the mark.

“It’s a tough loss,” head coach Chase Campbell said. “Our guys played extremely hard and never quit. I am proud to coach this group. The game came down to a one box out and a missed layup. The beauty of this is we get a chance to play soon. I would rather have these mistakes now instead of March.”

Taylan Grogan led the Wildcats with 18 points. Most of his production was in the second half as he hit three of his four 3-pointers. He added five assists, three rebounds and a steal. Travious Grubbs finished with 14 points and five rebounds. Cheek tallied 12 points and led the team with eight rebounds, seven assists and three steals. Ellis added 10 points, six rebounds and three assists.

Wiley College was out-shot 52.9 percent to 50.9 percent. It shot better from 3-point territory — hitting eight of 19 attempts. The battle of the boards went to Xavier as it grabbed 30 to the Wildcats’ 26.

In the first half, the Wildcats led by as many as eight. Ellis paced the offense in the first half with nine points. Xavier didn’t back down as it shot over 60 percent. Wiley College gave up seven consecutive points as it trailed 35-33 at halftime.

Grogan scored the Wiley College’s first 13 points of the second half to give it an eight-point lead. A scoring drought of nearly four minutes allowed the Gold Rush to get back in the game.

The Wildcats will conclude their first road trip of the season today against National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I program the University of Texas-San Antonio.

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