Cavs Edge Malone 62-59 in Round One

Cavs Edge Malone 62-59 in Round One


(NORTH CANTON, Ohio) - Behind Jeff Copeland's (6-5, Jr., Toledo, OH/St. John's Jesuit) double-double, Walsh (15-3, 11-3) held off crosstown rival Malone University (9-10, 7-8) 62-59 before over 1,700 fans at Alumni Arena. The Cavs have won four straight games, and 10 of their last 11. Walsh has also won 26 of the last 29 meetings with Malone. The two teams meet in the 50th Mayors' Cup game on February 27 at Malone.

Both halves were defensive struggles. Walsh shot 34% from the floor in the first half, and Malone 30%, as the Cavs took a 26-24 lead into the locker room. Copeland's big night started in the first half, as he scored eight points and grabbed six rebounds.
There were six lead changes and eight ties in the second half, with Walsh holding the games' largest lead at six points (38-32) with 14:07 to play.

Malone would rally from five points (45-40) down with 9:36 to play, and tie the contest at 45-all on a Stephen O'Daniel jumper with 8:12 to play.

Walsh led 51-50 with 5:13 to play, when Malone went on a 5-0 run to take their largest lead of the game at 55-51 with 3:58 left. But Walsh came right back, as Chall Montgomery (6-4, So., Cleveland, OH/Central Catholic/Naval Academy) scored on an old-fashioned three-point play to cut the lead to 55-54 with 3:48 left.

The Cavs took the lead for good on the next possession as Hrvoje Vucic (Sr., 7-1, Split, Croatia/Faust Vrancic/Valparaiso) nailed a three-ball from the corner to put Walsh on top 57-55 with 2:11 to play.

Malone's Neil Gingerich then split two free throws with 1:39 to play to pull Malone to within a point (57-56).

Walsh then did something that they struggled with all night, hitting free throws, as Jesse Hardin (6-1, So., Warren, OH/Harding) stepped to line and hit a pair to extend the lead to 59-56 with 1:07 left. The Cavs finished the night 14-23 from the line.
Malone's Isiah Elliott answered with two free tosses to cut the lead to 59-58 with 43 seconds left.

Montgomery then grabbed the biggest rebound of the night off a Vucic miss, and finished to give the Cavs a 61-58 lead with second seconds to play.

Walsh then fouled Elliott before he could shoot a game-tying three with three seconds left. Elliott then stepped to the line and hit the first one, but missed the second in hopes of Malone grabbing the rebound. But Copeland grabbed his game-high 15 rebound, and was fouled. He then split two free throws with less the one second left. Malone rebounded, but their shot near half court was short, and Walsh celebrated with career win 68 over Malone.

Copeland led Walsh with 18 points, and a career-high 15 rebounds. He was 7-12 from the floor. Montgomery shined off the bench for the third straight game with 16 points and 5 rebounds. He hit 3-4 from three-point. Vucic finished with 14 points.

Hardin added nine rebounds and Brad DuPont (Sr., 6-0, Massillon, OH/Jackson/Wheeling Jesuit) notched eight, as Walsh out-rebounded Malone 46-37.
Malone's Isiah Elliott led all scorers with 19 points.

The Cavs' homestand continues as they host Ashland University on Thursday night at 7:30 pm, and Lake Erie College on Saturday at 3 pm. Both games will be broadcast live on WNPQ FM (95.9) and will be streamed live on TEAMLINE.