Roundup: Johnson’s last-second putback lifts Wesley women in opener

Brionna Johnson watched her team fall behind in the first half as she sat on the bench. Whatever message coach James Wearden sent got across to the senior as she tallied 10 points in the second half and netted the game-winning putback with 0.9 seconds remaining to give the Wesley College women’s basketball team a 71-69 win over Widener in their season opener Tuesday night at Wentworth Gymnasium.

With the game tied at 69-69, the Wolverines got the ball back with 30 seconds remaining. Tiyanna Gibbs set the offense and penetrated the left side pulling up for a floater with three seconds left. The shot went long but fell to Johnson, who was camped out under the rim.

The senior collected the miss and put up a contested layup that fell through, giving Wesley the lead with 0.9 seconds to go. The Pride tried to inbound to Emily Hardy on the final play but ran out of time before the forward could put up a shot to give the Wolverines the win.

Alexus Stroud led the Wolverines with 27 points, snagged six rebounds and grabbed three steals while Tiyanna Gibbs added 16 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals. Monshea Newsome-Murray led the Wolverines with four assists and swiped three steals as well.

Wesley’s Monshea Murray goes in through heavy traffic for a layup in the first half of Tuesday night’s game against Widener. (Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

Wesley’s Monshea Murray goes in through heavy traffic for a layup in the first half of Tuesday night’s game against Widener. (Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

Emily Hardy posted a double-double for the Pride, scoring 14 points and adding 10 rebounds. Devan Rimmer netted 22 points on 7-for-11 shooting to lead the team in scoring.

In the fourth quarter, Tiyanna Gibbs opened the frame with back-to-back layups to cut the lead in half. On the next three possessions Johnson hit a layup, took a charge, and drilled a three to put Wesley ahead 55-54 with 7:34 remaining. The final six minutes featured five lead changes and three ties, culminating with Johnson’s game-winner.

MEN, Wesley drops opener at Alvernia: The Wesley men’s team lost its opener 87-68 to host Alvernia.

Evan Anderson led the Wolverines in scoring with 23 points on 8-for-15 shooting, including a 5-for-8 performance from beyond the arc. JW Lawson added 18 points and Jordan Johnson notched 10. Paul Clemons nearly totaled a double-double in his Wesley debut, scoring eight points and snagging 11 rebounds.

Wesley's’ Monshea Murray moves in to try for a steal as Widener’s Madison Ireland heads up court. (Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

Wesley’s’ Monshea Murray moves in to try for a steal as Widener’s Madison Ireland heads up court. (Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

Alvernia outscored Wesley 41-21 in the first half. In the second half, The Wolverines opened the second half on a 7-2 run behind five points from Anderson, but Alvernia never allowed Wesley closer than 14 points.

Blue Hens fall to La Salle: Delaware trimmed a 13-point second half deficit to a single point in the final five minutes, but the Blue Hens could never gain the lead and suffered their first loss with a 74-68 setback to La Salle at Tom Gola Arena.

The Explorers (1-1) trailed 27-26 at the break but dominated the first 10 minutes of the second period, going up as many as 13 and still leading 59-48 at the 7:38 mark following a B.J. Johnson three-pointer.

But the Blue Hens (2-1) quickly responded with a 10-0 run, pulling within one on a Ryan Daly jumper at the five-minute mark. After two buckets by La Salle’s Demetrius Henry, Daly buried a three-pointer from the top of the key to make it 63-61 with 2:58 on the clock.

Britney Kerns of Wesley battles Widener’s Emily Hardy for a rebound in the second quarter. (Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

Britney Kerns of Wesley battles Widener’s Emily Hardy for a rebound in the second quarter. (Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

However Pookie Powell answered with a three-pointer and Henry added a dunk to put the Explorers back up seven, and Delaware could not get closer than four the rest of the way.

“I’m disappointed we lost, but our guys were ready to play, and were resilient in cutting a 13-point deficit to one,” UD head coach Martin Ingelsby said. “We went small in the second half to open things up, and were able to spread the court a bit. I thought Powell’s three-pointer to extend the lead from two to five was the biggest shot of the game.”

Daly finished with 19 points, all but two in the second half, and added seven rebounds while playing in his hometown, while Cazmon Hayes also scored 19 on the night for Delaware. Anthony Mosley added an all-around effort of 17 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals for the Blue Hens, who played without Darian Bryant (muscle strain in back).

Reach the Delaware State News newsroom at newsroom@newszap.com

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