By TOM BONE
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
BLUEFIELD, Va. —
Andrew Wilson almost made NAIA history on Saturday evening, grabbing 12 steals in Bluefield College’s 92-73 win over WVU-Tech in the final game of the first Ramey Cars Classic at the Dome Gymnasium.
Wilson, the Rams’ high-energy sophomore guard, tied for the second most steals in a game in NAIA Division I men’s basketball. Duane Glenn set the all-time mark of 13 in a game for Pittsburgh-Bradford in 1993, according to Bluefield College Sports Information Director Rudy Roediger.
Wilson also recorded a rare triple-double with 10 points and 15 of BC’s 28 assists.
The 5-foot-7 sophomore said, “I kind of felt more comfortable than usual. I was just looking to get my teammates involved, first.”
He was told at the bench during the game that he was closing in on a triple-double. He said it didn’t affect his play.
“I said, ‘If I get it, I get it,’ but I was just looking to win,” Wilson said. “I just wanted to come out this weekend and be aggressive.”
Bluefield College (6-5) head coach Richard Morgan said, “If he comes in focused and ready, every game, he can do that every night.”
The Rams generated 22 WVU-Tech turnovers while giving the ball up eight times.
Morgan said, “I think our guys are really buying into the defensive end of the floor.”
Wilson said, “We really wanted to focus mostly on the defensive end, this week. We knew they were able to penetrate and (guard David Rawlinson could) get his teammates involved. We wanted to learn their tendencies, and actually shut them down, what they were normally good at, which was driving.”
He sold his coaches on a little free-lancing.
Wilson recalled, “I said, ‘You let me run around a little bit, and my energy’s going to pick up. I’m going to stay aggressive, and make sure I’m everywhere on this court, and keep up the pressure.’
“It was more defending the ball, going after it. It really worked today.”
Bluefield broke out of a 6-6 tie with a 16-to-4 run, punctuated when Wilson rifled a behind-the-back pass to Byron Carpenter to score two points in the paint.
Morgan said, “I’ve seen it so much in practice, I don’t get (bothered). As long as he completes it, I don’t care.”
Bob Williams, in his 11th year as coach of the Golden Bears, said, “In the first five, 10 minutes of the game, we had runouts, and the guys just didn’t catch the ball. (Bluefield is) a team that really wants to outscore you.”
“We thought we could get out and run, and we got high-percentage shots all night. It’s just that we couldn’t stop them when we needed to.”
Carpenter, the fifth-leading scorer in his NAIA division, tossed in 28 points, going 10-for-13 from the floor and 8-of-9 in free throws.
Wilson said, “His numbers are big; he’s all-American, and he does it every night. That’s what we really stress ... giving the ball to Byron and letting him go to work, and it makes it easier for everybody else.”
Deante Hallums, who made all 11 of his field-goal tries in the Rams’ Nov. 20 win over the Bears, added 16 points and led BC with nine rebounds. Kearsten Marion was 6-of-9 from three-point range, scoring 16 points.
Wilson’s three from the left corner of the court gave Bluefield a 44-29 halftime lead. WVU-Tech (8-7) came out with more energy after intermission, forcing Morgan to leap up and call a quick timeout.
The coach said, “I didn’t feel like we were ready, so I wanted to call the timeout, and I re-stated again, ‘Hey, we’ve got to finish this game strong, and the way you do that is to go out and not let them have layups, (to) make them earn their baskets.’ ”
With 5:33 left, the Golden Bears closed the gap to eight points, 74-66, after sinking three treys and a reverse layup on four straight possessions.
Bluefield responded with 13 straight points, capped by Carpenter’s dunk off an assist from Wilson with 2:23 left.
Wilson said when the Bears went on their run, the Rams had to regain their composure.
“We’ve been here before,” he said. “We’ve had teams come back on us, and we just got to keep it basically under control. Look for our shooter. That’s basically what we did.”
WVU-Tech, ranked 29th in the division last week, is now on a three-game losing streak after being swept by Bluefield.
Williams pointed out that he had eight players in uniform. He said, “We had two or three walk-ons out there. Our biggest kid quit the team last week. Another guard was in the hospital with a blood clot.”
He added that Bluefield is “a good team. I’ve been around them long enough (that) I know how good they are here, in this building.”
“We’re averaging 84 points a game, and we struggled to score today. We had too many turnovers ... Your two seniors combine for 11 turnovers, against a good team like that.”
“Carpenter’s a really good player, and they’ve got the guards who can shoot the lights out. They’re not deep, either, but they’re talented.”
Morgan said, “I was really pleased with how their effort was, and how they played today, being that this is finals (week) and there are a lot of distractions, but I think overall, our guys did what they were supposed to do — they came out and competed hard.”
Rawlinson led the Golden Bears with 21 points. Terrale Clark added 19.
Morgan said, “Rawlinson does an excellent job of running the team, and scoring. They have a nice mixture of players.”
The Rams are idle through the rest of finals week until next Saturday, when they travel to Lynchburg, Va., for a non-conference matchup with Virginia University.
Morgan said about the final exams, “I let them concentrate on their grades. I won’t mess with them until maybe Tuesday evening or Wednesday.”
“I told them, ‘I want you to go hard in your academics like you did on the floor.’ ”
— Contact Tom Bone at
At The Dome Gymnasium
Floyd Campbell 3-4 3-4 9, David Rawlinson 9-16 2-4 21, Jaren Marino 5-10 2-2 13, Terrale Clark 7-14 4-5 19, Brandon Burgraff 2-13 0-0 6, Kornilous Donnell 1-3 2-3 5, Hunter Lambert 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-61 13-18 73.
BLUEFIELD COLLEGE (6-5)
Byron Carpenter 10-13 8-9 28, Andrew WIlson 4-11 0-0 10, Kearsten Marion 10-17 6-9 26, Shaheem Jones 2-10 0-0 6, Deante Hallums 7-16 1-1 16, Devin Page 2-6 2-2 6, Ed Porter 0-3 0-0 0, Rodney Kasey 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 35-77 11-12 92.
Halftime—Bluefield 44-29. 3-point goals — WVUT 6-21 (Rawlinson 1-3, Marino 1-3, Clark 1-3, Brugraff 2-9, Donnell 1-2, Lambert 0-1), BC 11-28 (Wilson 2-6, Marion 6-9, Jones 2-9, Hallums 1-1, Porter 0-1, Page 0-2). Fouled out — none. Rebounds — WVUT 37 (Donnell 9), BC 29 (Hallums 9). Assists — WVUT 9 (Rawlinson 7), BC 28 (Wilson 15). Total fouls — WVUT 13, BC 15. Technicals — none. Att — n.a.