NORTH CANTON, Ohio – The Walsh Cavaliers men's basketball team opened round one of the rivalry series with the Malone Pioneers on Saturday (Jan. 12) afternoon at Alumni Arena.
The Cavaliers fell 69-62 to the Pioneers in a thriller to those in attendance.
Darryl Straughter gave the Cavaliers an early 3-2 lead but Malone used a 12-3 run to gain the advantage three minutes in. Sterling Christy scored six points on a Walsh 10-2 run that trimmed the Pioneers' lead to 14-13. Malone scored shortly after before Branden Wilkins nailed a jumper from the free throw line. Malone went on an 8-0 run, pushing the lead to 23-15 with seven minutes left in the first half. JT Shumate converted a three-point play that started a span of six minutes where Shumate accounted for eight straight points. The Cavaliers cut the lead to five but Malone led 32-25 at the intermission.
Shumate led the Cavaliers with ten first half points.
Malone struck first in the second half before Caleb Canter and Straughter combined on a 5-0 run for the Cavaliers. The Pioneers pushed the lead to nine with 15:52 to go. Christy scored four points on a 6-0 run for Walsh as Walsh pulled within three, 43-40. Malone gained a five-point advantage with 12:45 left before Walsh began to chip away at the Pioneers lead over the next two minutes. Shumate scored five straight points to tie the contest at 47 with 11:31 left. Wilkins made a layup one minute later as the Cavaliers regained the lead, 49-47. The teams exchanged three pointers as Walsh still held a two-point advantage. Malone tied the game with eight minutes to go with a layup. Straughter put the Cavaliers up 55-52 with a three pointer seconds later. Malone tied the game at 55 with 5:22 left but Christy regained the Cavs 57-55 advantage with a pair of free throws. Canter pushed the lead to 59-56 with 4:22 left. Malone took the lead with 3:21 left and held off the Cavaliers' rally. Malone defeated the Cavaliers 69-62.
Shumate led all scorers with 22 points after shooting 50% from the floor. He had three rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two steals. Christy finished with a double-double with 16 points and ten rebounds. Canter and Straughter each had nine points for the Cavaliers.
Walsh will conclude the non-conference portion of the schedule with a home game against Wilberforce on Tuesday (Jan. 15) at home.