ATHENS — The Concord University men's basketball team used a 24-6 run over a 10-minute stretch to separate itself from West Virginia Wesleyan before holding on for a 73-69 win Wednesday night in Mountain East Conference action at the Carter Center.
Holding onto a 26-25 lead with 5:17 left in the first half, the Mountain Lions finished the opening 20 minutes on a 13-2 run. Senior forward Liam Evans scored the first four points of the run before junior guard Brandon Kennedy added the next five. Senior guard/forward Malik Johnson punctuated the surge with a four-point play right before half.
Concord (2-1) kept the momentum going to start the second half. Evans added four more points while senior forward David Bea Mulumba canned one of his two three-pointers on the night. After a jumper from junior guard Seth Brown, and a bucket from Johnson, CU's lead sat at 50-31 with 15:45 left in the second half.
The lead remained double digits until the final minute of the game when West Virginia Wesleyan (0-3) took advantage of some missed free throws and turnovers from Concord. The Bobcats also threw in a three-pointer just ahead of the final buzzer to cut the final margin of victory to four for CU.
The Mountain Lions led for nearly 34 minutes in the contest as it shot 53.6 percent (15-for-28) in the first half to build the 12-point halftime advantage.
Evans led all scorers with 22 points—a career best—and just missed his second career double-double with nine rebounds. Kennedy scored all 13 of his points in the first half.
Johnson posted 12 points and a career-best seven assists. Mulumba also finished in double figures with 10 points to go with six rebounds.
Led by Johnson's seven assists, Concord handed out 19 assists on 27 made shots for the game. Six different players had at least two assists in the contest.
Making his first start, Brown just missed double figures with nine points in 29 minutes.
Concord plays at Davis & Elkins 4 p.m. Saturday.