WPU’s Men’s Basketball beats Covenant

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WPU Athletics

Basketball player and student Mikal Gaylord

Marketta Bennett, Staff Writer

William Peace University Men’s Basketball team won their most recent home game against Covenant College in a USA South Conference matchup Saturday, Jan. 18, their fifth win in the USA South Conference. 

With the starting five, Jaylen Ward, Darius Jackson, Mikal Gaylord, Beau Bryant, and Donolly Tyrell Jr., it was a slow start at 8-0 with the Scots in the lead. But that didn’t last for long. The Pacers began to pick it up and put their heads in the game.

The gym was packed so that people had to stand on the sides or sit on the stairs on the bleachers, some on their toes with excitement. 

“Overall, we felt good about the game,” said Jalen Owens, number 12. “It was our first time beating Covenant and it was a stride forward to reach our team goals.”

With Camden Ferguson’s first three-point shot, John Burwell’s layup, and Donolly Tyrell making both foul shots, Ti’Quan Whitmore put the Pacers in the lead, 9-8, making both of his foul shots. Both teams were putting up points and playing quick up and down the court.

Throughout the first half, the Scots tied the game twice, 15-15 and 17-17 but the Pacers kept extending the lead. From 17-17, Beau Bryant put the Pacers in the lead again with 19-17. At the end of the first half, John Burwell hit a mid-range shot keeping the Pacers in the lead with 38-24.

As the second half started, Donolly started off with a bang, making a three-point shot. From the start of the game, the Scots defense was disciplined, but as the game went on, it seems to fall apart. 

As the second half went on, Tyson Sellers made a layup and a jump shot putting the Pacers in the lead by 16 points, putting the score at 51-35. They were at a 20 point lead when Beau Bryant made a pair of free throws, putting the score at 57-37.

“As a team we were locked in defensively making them turn the ball over and allowing the game to be played at our pace,” Owens said. “Also, as a team we rebounded very well and kept a first team all-conference player frustrated.”

As for the Pacers, there’s always room for improvement, despite the win. 

“As a team I felt like we should have kept our foot on the gas from start to finish, no let ups,” said Ward, number 44. “I had two turnovers in the game, so not having turnovers would have been better. Also being more aggressive on offense when I first started.”

The men’s basketball team’s next home game will be Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. against Pfeiffer  University. On Feb. 1, they’ll play at Brevard College at 2 p.m.