MONROEVILLE, Pa. - The Westmoreland County Community College men's basketball team trimmed a 10-point defict to three in the closing seconds, but CCAC-Boyce managed to hang on for a 79-74 victory over the Wolfpack Monday night.
The loss means Westmoreland will be the fifth seed for the upcoming WPCC Tournament this weekend, starting Friday. With the win, Boyce will the fourth seed and host the Wolfpack Friday night with a 6 pm tip-off.
The game had a sluggish start for Westmoreland, as the Saints built an early 20-10 lead. The Wolfpack responded with a 19-4 surge to take their largest lead of the game at 29-24, but the home team scored 11 of the final 16 points of the half to take a 35-34 lead into halftime.
After the break, Boyce would lead for most of the final 20 minutes, but the Wolfpack continued to make runs. The Saints seemed to put the game away with a 10-point lead with less than two minutes to play, but Westmoreland had one more run left. Keyed by threes from Luke Stein and Dipo Olaleye, Westmoreland sliced the deficit to 77-74 with six seconds to play.
However, the Wolfpack would run out of the time, as Boyce sank two free throws to put the game out of reach and secure the higher seed and home game for the tournament's opening round.
Pacing Westmoreland in the setback was Olaleye with 23 points, as well as six assists and four steals. The Wolfpack forwards enjoyed strong games as well, as Xavier Johnson made a run at his second triple-double in a week with 15 points, nine rebounds and seven assists and Michael Yuricha did collect a double-double with 15 points and 12 boards. Rounding out the double-digit scorers was Garret Dhans with 12 points.
Before the Wolfpack can start WPCC play Friday, they must finish the regular season. The finale will be Wednesday night when Westmoreland travels to Butler CCC for a 7 pm tip-off.