With the never-ending cycle of college basketball programs — new faces coming in and old faces going out every year — most coaches, student-athletes and fans are always looking to the future. The Kentucky Wesleyan College men’s basketball program is no different.
However, it’s impossible to move forward without taking into account the results of the past. Some are treasured memories for all those involved, while other moments still invoke emotions of heartache and misery.
It’s never a bad idea to take a stroll down memory lane, so here are 10 of the top KWC games over the past five seasons.
BOSLEY CLIMBS SCORING LIST, KWC WINS 2ND STRAIGHT G-MAC CROWN
MARCH 4, 2017
Senior guard Ken-Jah Bosley poured in 29 points with eight 3-pointers to become the third-leading scorer in Kentucky Wesleyan College history, and a dominant second half allowed the No. 7 Panthers to cruise to a 91-63 win over Alderson Broaddus in the 2016-17 G-MAC championship game at the Sportscenter.
With 2,102 points, Bosley passed “King” Kelly Coleman (2,077 points) and finished his career trailing Dwight Higgs (2,228 points).
After leading by just three points at halftime, the Panthers outscored Alderson Broaddus 51-26 after intermission — shooting 60% from the field and limiting the Battlers to 34% shooting in the process. Junior forward Sam Williams and senior forward Jordan Jacks chipped in 14 and 11 points, respectively.
KWC TAKES WKU TO DOUBLE OT
NOV. 5, 2016
Although it won’t go into the “official” record books due to being an exhibition, the Panthers played one of their most exciting games of the last decade in a 103-97 double-overtime loss to Western Kentucky at E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green.
Senior guard Ken-Jah Bosley poured in what would’ve been a career-best 42 points, with a 15-of-24 shooting performance from the field and an 8-of-14 mark from 3-point distance. Junior forward Sam Williams added 15 points, junior center Michael Vigilance grabbed 10 rebounds, and senior guard Charles Foster dished five assists.
After regulation ended in a 75-75 tie, KWC went up 93-90 on a pair of foul shots by junior guard Shaakir Lindsey with seven seconds left in overtime. Western’s Pancake Thomas drilled a 3 to force a second extra period, and the Hilltoppers pulled away from there.
WESLEYAN WINS 1ST G-MAC TITLE
After reaching the Great Midwest Athletic Conference tournament championship game twice and falling short against Alderson Broaddus both times, the Panthers finally broke through in 2015-16.
Senior forward Devin Langford posted 20 points with nine rebounds, junior guard Ken-Jah Bosley chipped in 17 points, and ninth-ranked Wesleyan claimed a 78-69 win over Trevecca Nazarene at the Sportscenter. Junior forward Jordan Jacks added 13 points, and senior forward C.J. Blackwell finished with 10.
The victory ended a three-season NCAA Division II Tournament drought for the Panthers, who erased an eight-point first-half deficit with a 14-0 run and never looked back.
PANTHERS STUN TOP-SEEDED CHARGERS
MARCH 3, 2020
Even on the road against No. 1 seed and host Hillsdale in the first round of the 2019-20 Great Midwest Athletic Conference tournament, the Panthers weren’t deterred.
Sophomore guard Wyatt Battaile, senior guard Adam Goetz and sophomore center Sasha Sukhanov scored 19 points apiece to lead Wesleyan in a 80-72 victory, which then sparked the Panthers’ semifinal win over Malone and their run to the conference tournament championship game.
Two late 3-pointers by Battaile helped keep the Chargers at a distance down the stretch, and Wesleyan drained 14-of-17 free throws to seal the victory.
QUINCY EDGES WESLEYAN IN NCAA TOURNEY
MARCH 11, 2017
Senior forward Jordan Jacks recorded 17 points with 10 rebounds, and senior guard Ken-Jah Bosley added 16 points as the No. 5 Panthers fell 78-75 to Quincy in the 2016-17 NCAA Division II Tournament Midwest Region quarterfinal at Bellarmine University in Louisville.
The loss snapped a 26-game winning streak — the second-longest of the season across the entire NCAA — and was the last time Wesleyan reached the NCAA Tournament in the previous three years.
Bosley hit three straight 3-pointers to pull KWC within two points with 13 seconds to go, and after a Quincy free throw, Bosley had a chance at the game-tying 3. However, he missed the shot after a physical block attempt from Quincy and a no-call decision from the officials.
KWC TOPS HILLSDALE ON SENIOR DAY
FEB. 8, 2020
Perhaps the Panthers’ most defining win of the year, Wesleyan edged the visiting Chargers 67-66 in its 2019-20 Senior Day home finale at the Sportscenter after trailing by seven points at halftime.
Just two days after a heartbreaking three-point loss to Findlay, KWC got 17 points from junior guard Zach Hopewell, 12 points from junior guard Jo Griffin, and sophomore center Sasha Sukhanov’s last-second tip-in lifted the Panthers to victory.
A 14-2 run put the Panthers up 58-51 with seven minutes left, until Hillsdale took the lead with a 15-7 run of its own — setting the stage for Sukhanov’s late heroics.
PANTHERS RENEW USI rivalryNOV. 19, 2016
Although Kentucky Wesleyan fell 85-81 to Southern Indiana at the inaugural Small College Basketball Hall of Fame Classic at the Ford Center in Evansville, it was the first chance the Panthers had to face their former rival in three seasons.
The two programs had been bitter foes in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, but KWC’s jump to the G-MAC left the series in jeopardy.
A 24-9 run in the final six minutes of the contest pulled KWC back into contention, with two free throws from junior guard Adam Stanford putting the Panthers up 79-78 with 57 seconds to play. USI’s Jeril Taylor hit a 3-pointer to push his team back into the lead, and KWC senior guard Ken-Jah Bosley misfired on a 3 on Wesleyan’s final possession.
KWC FALLS IN RETURN TO NCAA TOURNEY
MARCH 12, 2016
The Panthers raced out to a 21-10 lead in their first NCAA Division II Tournament appearance since reaching the Midwest Region final in 2012, but KWC couldn’t hold off top seed and host Wisconsin-Parkside in a 74-65 loss in Somers, Wisconsin.
Junior forward Jordan Jacks recorded 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, and senior forward C.J. Blackwell chipped in 12 points for No. 9 Wesleyan.
Senior point guard Marcus Fillyaw hit two free throws to tie the contest at 57 with 4:45 to play, but Wisconsin-Parkside scored 14 of the next 18 points to pull away for good.
PANTHERS COME CLOSE VS. NO. 4 LMU
DEC. 22, 2019
Though the Panthers came up short in a 77-75 loss at the Sportscenter, the meeting against national powerhouse Lincoln Memorial was the Panthers’ first glimpse of what they could ultimately achieve by the end of the year.
Senior guard Adam Goetz scored 18 points, junior forward Stew Currie posted 15 points with 10 rebounds, and Wesleyan held a 61-56 lead midway through the second half. A 15-4 scoring outburst put the Railsplitters in position for a come-from behind victory, but KWC didn’t go away.
Currie hit a pair of free throws to tie the game at 75 with 14 seconds remaining, but LMU’s Cameron Henry scored on an offensive rebound and putback in the final seconds for the win.
KWC BEATS EVENTUAL G-MAC CHAMP
DEC. 7, 2017
Senior guard Daniel Dzierzawski scored a then-career-best 23 points off the bench, junior guard Rasheide Bell added 15 points with eight rebounds and two assists, and KWC held off eventual league winner Ohio Dominican 73-70 in Columbus, Ohio.
The victory helped spur on a six-game winning streak for the 2017-18 Panthers under interim head coach Jason Mays — now the head coach for the top-ranked Ashland Blazer High School boys’ basketball team.
Dzierzawski scored the last six points of the contest for the Panthers, including a 4-for-4 mark from the free-throw line in the final 21 seconds.