The Panthers came up short on the road Saturday.
The Kentucky Wesleyan College men's basketball team, seeking its first conference win in three tries, couldn't overcome lackluster defense and poor free-throw shooting before falling 86-84 to Ohio Valley in Vienna, West Virginia.
The Panthers (10-8, 4-4 in G-MAC) took their first -- and only -- lead of the second half on senior forward Amir Warnock's shot with 4:47 left to play, but their 75-74 advantage was quickly erased.
The Fighting Scots (2-11, 1-6) pushed ahead by five points just minutes later, but KWC still had an opportunity late.
Senior guard Daniel Dzierzawski, who scored a team-high 20 points, had a chance at a tie with a pair of free throws in the final seconds. However, he missed the first, and the Panthers were unable to secure the rebound on an intentional miss on the second.
For the game, KWC made just 13-of-24 free-throw attempts.
Panthers interim coach Jason Mays also pointed to his team's defensive effort as an area for concern.
"Defensively, we were just not ready to play, mainly in the first half," he said afterward. "We couldn't guard them off the drive, which is ridiculous, because if we can't guard Ohio Valley's guards off the dribble, then I don't know what we're gonna do.
"The second half, we gave better effort and we played a lot smarter. We didn't gamble, we didn't give up angles on the drive and we made them score over us, rather than around us."
Dylan Harrison and Christian Alley paced Ohio Valley in the win. Harrison scored a game-high 23 points, while Alley added 22 points.
Parker Black added 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Fighting Scots, and Aleksandar Djordjevi finished with 11 points, nine rebounds and nine assists.
"(Harrison) hurt us from the 3," Mays said. "He was 5-of-9 and hit some really hard daggers at critical times. That's when they were playing five guards, and we were trying to play with two, sometimes three, bigs. That gave us some matchup difficulties."
Ohio Valley made 11-of-27 attempts from beyond the arc, while KWC shot just 3-of-11 -- all makes coming from junior guard Brandon Hatton (nine points).
Junior forward Malek Harris finished with 15 points for the Panthers, and Warnock and sophomore forward Dakota Quinn each chipped in 10 points.
Mays didn't hesitate to credit the Fighting Scots -- who snapped an 11-game losing streak.
"I'm sorry about the outcome," he said. "Ohio Valley played with guts, and we need to give them credit. They played with a lot of emotion, they played with a lot of energy. They had 31 made field goals on 21 assists. They shared the ball, and they deserve a lot of credit today."