Wheeling Jesuit was looking to make some noise in the NCAA Div II regionals in Virginia this weekend. The West Chester University Rams were looking for their very first NCAA Tourney victory. The Cardinals of Jesuit would hold a lead throughout the first half and about 6 minutes into the second. That is when West Chester would flip the game and take the lead. They would hold the lead, albeit a small lead for the remainder of the game. The final score in Game one at the home site of Virginia State University, West Chester 82 Jesuit 77.
West Chester was led by Jackson Hyland as he would fill up the score sheet with 20 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks and 4 assists. Matt Penacale would ice the game making 2 late free throws that were part of his 13 point game. The Rams would get 21 bench points which were crucial for this team to advance.
For Wheeling Jesuit, their two stars led the way. Haywood Highsmith would play 30 minutes and pile up 25 points, 13 rebounds and 5 blocks. He was by far the best player on the floor. Boswell would give the Cardinals 20 more points as he would step up to help Wheeling Jesuit. The issue the Cardinals dealth with was their lack of contributions from the other starters as the they would kick in only 17 points. And their depth was tested as they went only 3 deep on the bench. The Cards missed their emotional leader Pat Moseh with injury. That was a contributing factor on what enabled the Rams to not only take the lead in the second half but also maintain it.
West Chester now awaits the winner of the Gannon East Stroudsburg game that has just started.