Frankfort, Kentucky-It was a valiant effort that came up just short. The University of Virginia's College at Wise men's basketball squad fought tooth and nail with Georgetown College in basketball action in the Mid South Conference tournament today, falling just short to the heavily favored Tigers 79-71 in overtime. Senior guard Travis Berry, playing his last game as a Cavalier, led the contest in scoring with a career-high 39 points.
The Cavaliers came out of the locker room with poise and determination, jumping out to an early lead. UVa-Wise led by 10 points midway through the first quarter when tragedy struck. Senior forward Josh Jordan, playing his last game in a UVa-Wise uniform, fell on the court with an apparent knee injury. After suffering the injury, Jordan was not able to return to the court. But the Cavaliers did not disappear when Jordan went out, as they continued to play the highly-touted Tiger squad bucket for bucket throughout. The Cavs held Georgetown to only 40% shooting in the contest and forced 21 turnovers, but were not able to hold off the furious Tiger charge in overtime. Point guard Darius Smith had an opportunity to win the game at the end of regulation, but his attempt fell just short and in the extra period, the depth of Georgetown played a huge role. Three UVa-Wise players fouled out, including Berry, the leading scorer. Berry and Smith were the only Cavs in double figures, with Berry's 39 points (including six three point makes) and Smith's 17. Berry and forward Jermaine Wright shared the Cav lead in rebounds with five, while Wright, James Turner, and senior forward Norris Gaskins all added two assists. Jordan finished with 8 points (4-5 from the field) and two rebounds in his limited action.
The Tigers were paced by Johonne Hamilton, who led them in scoring with 22 points and added two assists. Two other Georgetown players broke double figures and added double doubles, with Jordan Demercy added 10 points and 11 rebounds while Maurice Pearson scored 14 points and led the Tigers in rebounds with 13. Anthony Crater and Russ Middleton shared the team lead in assists with four.
The loss ends the Cavalier season, and the careers of seniors Josh Jordan, Norris Gaskins and the aforementioned Berry. The contributions made by those three players will not be forgotten in UVa-Wise lore and all will be remembered as key contributors on very successful Cavalier teams. Berry was named first team All-Mid South Conference while Josh Jordan was named second team All Mid-South.