By: Tyler Zeman
For the Yellow Jacket
On Saturday afternoon the Waynesburg University Men’s basketball team defeated their conference rival Washington and Jefferson Presidents 61-55.
This big win for the yellow jackets comes just after a disappointing loss earlier in the week on Wednesday to Chatham University.
Not only was the win impressive, but for Head Coach Tim Fusina this was one of their best defensive performances so far this season.
“This was an outstanding defensive performance. Winning a conference game on the road is very difficult, but when you can hold the home team to twenty-eight percent from the field you can tell things are headed in the right direction,” Fusina said.
The defense this season has really been the team’s backbone when they have found it hard to score, they have been able to stay in games because of a very consistent defensive performance all season.
As for the game as a whole both team offenses started out really slow. It took two minutes and eleven seconds until finally W&J’s Cameron Seeman recorded the first points of the game.
Waynesburg wouldn’t score its first points until Bryson Wilt hit a jump shot for the Jackets with 13:48 left in the first half.
Even though Waynesburg found themselves down 10-2 early Coach Fusina wasn’t worried
“We were defending well, yes we didn’t score until the first couple of minutes, yes it was an eight nothing game, but it also took them seven minutes to score eight points, Fusina said. “Defensively I thought we would be able to get stops to keep ourselves within striking distance once we started to make a couple shots ourselves.”
This proved to be true as the yellow jackets were able to climb their way back into the game and at halftime only found themselves down by one.
All throughout the early part of the second half the game was very back and forth with no team really being able to get a substantial lead.
Until late in the second half when Waynesburg went on a 9-3 run giving them a nine-point lead. However, W&J would battle back and with less than thirty seconds left they would hit back-to-back threes from Zach Queen and Cameron Seemann cutting the lead Waynesburg had to one.
Coach Fusina wasn’t worried even with the close loss the team experienced Earlier in the week, “You can’t think like that so, no.”
“We didn’t talk in transition, they hit a three that was our fault had nothing to do with them,” Fusina said. “We didn’t communicate, and we missed a couple of free throws again that is nothing they did so I wasn’t concerned.”
From there on W&J would constantly foul Waynesburg and the yellow jackets would shoot five for six from the free throw line to ensure the win.
Coach Fusina says he is proud of the team and that they are starting to be able to deal with the adversity.
“You had a case where there was two teams out there and one dealt with their adversity very well meaning us coming back from a bad loss the other night and not playing well offensively in the first twenty minutes compared to what the other guy did,” Fusina said.
As for the Yellow Jackets, this puts them at 3-4 on the season with only two games left; they currently sit in 6th place in the PAC. They will be in action again next Saturday March 6th as they faceoff against Thiel. Tip-off for the game is at 1pm.