The Waynesburg men’s basketball team traveled to take on their rivals in Washington, Pa Wednesday. The Yellow Jackets fell for the second time this season to Washington & Jefferson College, this time with a final score of 68-63.
The game started and ended with a three-pointer from both leading scorers on the night. Nick Gearhart for the Presidents cashed in first and was at the bank all night with 23 points, five rebounds, and shot 3-6 from behind the arc.
Sophomore Bryson Wilt responded with his career-high 16 points, 4-6 from three, and brought in six rebounds and five steals.
“He’s just tough,” head coach Tim Fusina said. “We talked about how to improve his offense earlier this season and we saw it this past game. He’s always guarding the other team’s best offensive threat.”
Wilt’s matchup against Washington & Jefferson was Junior Kyran Mitchell. Wilt and the Yellow Jackets held Mitchell well below his average, totaling only six points on the night and seven turnovers.
“I just have to keep doing my job to the best of my ability,” Wilt said. “And I know that my teammates will always do the same.”
Sophomore Jansen Knotts and graduate student Nijon Kirkman contributed 15 points each to the Waynesburg final point tally.
A close game going all the way down to the final stretch is prime material for senior Matt Popeck to separate his team. Popeck scored 11 points with five rebounds in the loss.
“They were very physical with him,” Fusina said. “He was guarded tight and didn’t get a lot of separation, it’s just a matter of him finding a screen to get open, and when he does he is effective.”
Waynesburg has struggled the past six games and is on a two-game losing streak heading into its final stretch of the regular season.
The Yellow Jackets host Westminster on Saturday, Feb. 12, at 8:30 p.m.
“Our focus right now is to win games and put ourselves in the best position heading into playoffs,” Wilt said.