Phenom Hoops checked in for an intriguing matchup on Thursday night, as United Faith traveled to Wesleyan Christian for a big-time battle and ultimately a thriller. Wesleyan came out strong to ultimately lead by double-digits in the first quarter but UFCA chipped away to be only down 18-14 at the end of the first quarter. Wesleyan was able to hold that same narrow lead at halftime, 30-26, behind the play of senior Luke Grace who scored 17 first-half points. UFCA was able to cut into the lead early and take their first lead around the five-minute mark in the third quarter, as shots started to fall more inside and out. But Wesleyan came right back to regain a 42-39 lead at the end of three.
From then on, it was a back-and-forth affair, coming down to the final seconds. With Wesleyan leading late, it was the senior of Marcus Willis of UFCA to step up and tie the game at the buzzer, sending this game into overtime at 56. In overtime, Willis stepped up, even more, scoring eight points in overtime and giving UFCA the late lead by one with 15 seconds to go. Wesleyan had a chance at the end, but a late block by UFCA helped seal the deal. Grace scored late but the buzzer had already gone off, as United Faith came away with a strong 65-64 victory on the road.
Final: United Faith: 65 – Wesleyan Christian 64 OT
UFCA: Marcus Willis 21pts/ Lance Gill 12pts/ Dorien Johnson 8pts/ Landon Johnson 10pts
Wes: Luke Grace 26pts/ Jefferson McLamb 16pts/ Cam Parker 12pts/ Alex McGee 7pts
- 2022 Luke Grace (Wesleyan) was off the charts, even in a tough loss. But the big man continues to show and surprise many with his production. Even though he isn’t the most athletic forward, he has great touch, finishes well around the basket, gets to the free throw line, and can step out with a really good looking and smooth shot.
- 2022 Marcus Willis stepped up like a senior should do. Even though he started out a little slow, Willis displayed that he isn’t afraid of the spotlight, hitting big shot after big shot. Willis showed his range from three but again, his speed to create and get to the basket. Big performance for the senior on the road.
- 2022 Jefferson McLamb is another unsigned senior for Wesleyan, as he continues to show his athleticism and ability to get to the basket. 2023 Lance Gill made some strong plays and was able to penetrate and get inside the arc for his shot. And was also impressed with 2022 Cam Parker (Wesleyan) and his presence out in transition, 2022 Landon Johnson (UFCA) as he stepped up in critical situations and scored in a variety of ways, and 2022 Dorien Johnson, as he to made big plays on both ends.