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Wheeling Men Advance To MEC Quarterfinals

File Photo by Kyle Lutz Jarett Haines scored a game-high 34 points to help Wheeling secure a victory over Alderson Broaddus in the first round of the Mountain East Conference Tournament.

The Wheeling University men’s basketball team held off an Alderson Broaddus rally to earn a victory in the first round of the Mountain East Conference Tournament, 97-91 Monday night at the Rex Pyles Arena.

The Cardinals advanced to the quarterfinals of the tournament where they will take on Charleston.

Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. Friday at WesBanco Arena.

“Obviously we got off to a great start in the first half,” Wheeling coach Chris Richardson said. “But we knew just from the experience last week, AB wasn’t going to quit and we were going to have to make plays on both ends. Fortunately we were able to do that.”

After a John Korte 3-pointer with 15:55 to go in the second half, the Cardinals took their largest lead of the game, 67-45.

However, the Battlers kept fighting their way back in it and cut the deficit to single digits on multiple occasions.

After a pair of free throws by Jordan Reid, Alderson Broaddus gave one final push as Davis Shriver drilled a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left to get within five, 94-89.

Reid went back to the free throw line and made 1 of 2 and the Battlers answered with a layup by Josh Bradford to put the score at 95-91 with six seconds left.

That was as close as they would get as Brent Price hit his two free throws to put the game out of reach.

The Cardinals also went 37 of 45 from the free throw line.

“Getting to the free throw line has been part of our recipe for success,” Richardson said. “There’s been some games where we struggled but there’s also been some games whether we were able to be in the game or win the game because of our ability to get to the free throw line. That’s part of who we are. You can’t settle for 40 minutes and expect to get to the free throw line. I thought we did a really good job of attacking the basket.

“They tried to take Jordan Reid away, but to his credit he did a really good job of being strong with the ball and not avoiding contact and getting to the line. He’s a guy that’s pretty reliable when he gets there.”

Reid netted 22 points while going 18 of 23 from the free throw line.

Jarett Haines led the way for the Cardinals as he tallied 34 points going 11 of 14 from the field.

“I thought Jarett Haines was phenomenal from start to finish,” Richardson said. “Not just with his scoring, but he controlled our team really on both ends. He had his best game of the season in my opinion (Monday).”

Price secured 18 points for Wheeling and John Korte rounded out the double figure scorers with 10.

For Alderson Broaddus, Shriver had a team-high 31 points while Dalen Solomon supplied 16.

Bradford netted 11 points and Coryon Rice had 10.

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