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Sova Ties Career-High, Men's Basketball Bests Wilmington

Senior forward Drew Sova (Matt Huttson)
Senior forward Drew Sova (Matt Huttson)

BEREA, Ohio – Fueled by a career-high from senior forward Drew Sova (Chagrin Falls/Kenston), the Baldwin Wallace University men's basketball team upended the Wilmington College Quakers, 87-84 in Ursrpung Gymnasium, inside the Lou Higgins Center.

BW (9-6 overall, 5-3 Ohio Athletic Conference) was led with Sova's career-high tying 23 points, as well as his game-high seven rebounds. Senior two-time Academic All-OAC guard Michael Quiring (Brunswick) poured in 20, added five assists, and consistently broke the Quaker press the entire game. Senior forward Alex Nahra (Mayfield) threw in 19 and grabbed four rebounds.

Wilmington (5-10 overall, 3-5 OAC) was led sophomore guard Jeffrey Mansfield who registered a game-high 35 points. Senior guard DaeShawn Jackson chipped in 21 and senior guard Payton Smith recorded 10.

BW improves to 30-19 over the Quakers, with the last victory coming last season in the OAC Quarterfinals, 74-71.

BW jumped out to an early 14-9 lead at the 15:32 mark. The Yellow Jackets extended that lead to 21-14 at 14:06, after a 7-5 run that was capped off with an offensive rebound and old-fashioned three-point play from sophomore guard Shane Zalba (Mentor). Wilmington trimmed the lead to 27-25 at the 10:00 mark with an 11-6 spurt. BW established a 37-28 advantage, their largest lead of the half, with a 10-3 run at the 7:15 mark. The Quakers battled back and cut the lead to 41-39 at 3:20 with an 11-4 run. The Yellow Jackets closed the half with an 8-3 run and went into halftime with a 49-42 advantage.

Freshman guard Anthony Mazzeo (North Canton/Massillon Jackson) opened the second half with a trey and gave BW its first double-digit lead of 52-42. Wilmington answered with a 12-1 run and gained their first lead of 54-53 at 14:49. Sova responded two free-throws on the following possession to give the Yellow Jackets a 55-54 lead at the 14:26 mark. The Quakers retaliated with a three to take a 57-54 advantage, a lead that would not be relinquished for nearly ten minutes. Wilmington seized its largest lead of the contest with a score of 72-63 at 9:31 with a 15-9 spurt. BW, not deterred, battled back to cut the lead to 76-75 after a Sova dunk at 4:14, forcing the Quakers to take a timeout. Wilmington sank a jumper on the next possession, before the Yellow Jackets would tie the game up at 78 apiece with an and-one from Sova. The Quakers responded with a 4-2 run and took an 82-80 lead at 2:35. Quiring answered with a three to give BW an 83-82 advantage. With seconds dwindling, a clever post-move from Nahra earned him the bucket plus the foul, and the senior would sink his free-throw to give the Yellow Jackets their most important lead of the game of 86-82. BW held off the Quakers and walked away with the 87-84 triumph.

The Yellow Jackets will be back home on Wednesday January, 22 for a game against John Carroll University at 7 p.m.