Thiel Breaks Game Open In 2nd Half To Defeat W&J 67-58
WASHINGTON, Pa. – Marquis Jackson buried back-to-back three-pointers during a key stretch in the second half to lift Thiel to a 67-58 PAC men’s basketball victory over Washington & Jefferson on Saturday afternoon at the Henry Memorial Center.
Jackson only played six minutes, but hit the two biggest shots of the game which stretched a four-point Tomcat advantage to 50-40 with 11:16 left. Those six points ignited a 12-0 spurt which put Thiel (10-7, 7-4 PAC) ahead 56-42 with 9:03 remaining.
Both teams made 22 field goals, including five three-pointers. W&J and Thiel also both grabbed 32 rebounds, but the difference came at the free throw line as the Tomcats made 18-of-27 attempts, while W&J shot 9-of-11 from the charity stripe.
W&J’s only lead came after senior guard Zach Bellhy (McDonald, Pa./Fort Cherry) netted the game’s first field goal 90 seconds in. Thiel scored 17 of the next 23 points to open an 18-7 edge at the 11:53 mark and Kamran McCaskill’s layup three minutes later pushed the lead to 24-9.
The Presidents (7-13, 5-6 PAC) chipped away at the lead, closing to 32-29 at one point after a Bellhy triple, but TC scored the final four points of the half to claim a 36-29 lead at the break.
Senior forward Ben Cecchini’s (Jamestown, N.Y./Jamestown) basket four minutes into the second half cut the gap to 38-37, but an 18-3 Tomcat run halted W&J’s momentum. The Tomcats went on to lead by as many as 20 points (64-44).
Chace McKinney led nine different Tomcat scorers with 13 points. AJ Forbes added 10 for the Tomcats, who shot 41 percent overall (22-of-54).
Bellhy led all scorers with 19 points on 7-of-16 shooting. He also added four assists and two steals. Sophomore point guard Doug Johnson (Greensburg, Pa./Latrobe) continued his hot shooting from outside by draining 4-of-5 three-pointers and finishing with 14 points. Sophomore forward Nate Bellhy (McDonald, Pa./Fort Cherry) grabbed 13 rebounds in addition to his six points and three steals.
W&J looks to snap its three-game win streak on Wednesday at Waynesburg (7:30 pm).