The Kentucky Wesleyan College men's basketball team has an opportunity to capture its first win of the young 2019-20 season Wednesday night when the Panthers host Oakland City.
Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Sportscenter.
KWC (0-3) enters following Monday's 82-63 loss at No. 18 Southern Indiana, in which the Panthers led 39-31 in the beginning stages of the second half. From there, however, the Screaming Eagles took over behind the efforts of a 32-3 scoring outburst.
According to second-year Wesleyan coach Drew Cooper, his team showed signs of growth -- just not enough to come away with the victory.
"I think this team knows how to play hard," Cooper said. "I was generally very proud of the way we executed the scout on both ends of the floor. ... There are certainly glimpses that we have seen that are very reassuring."
Senior guard Adam Goetz led the Panthers Monday with a game-best 27 points, pushing his scoring average to a team-high 13.3 points per contest. He also leads KWC with four assists per outing.
Other top contributors this season have included 6-7 senior forward Mohamed Abu Arisha (10 ppg, 5.6 rpg), 6-3 senior forward Tyler Bezold (6.7 ppg), 6-1 junior guard Jo Griffin (6.3 ppg) and 5-11 senior guard Erik Bell (5.7 ppg).
On the year, the Panthers are scoring 55.7 points per game on 43.9% shooting, including 29.5% from 3-point range. KWC also commits 16 turnovers per outing.
Oakland City (1-3) dropped its first three games of the year before bouncing back for a 96-89 win over Welch on Saturday.
The Mighty Oaks feature three double-digit scorers, led by 6-5 senior wing Tyler Toopes's 23.3 points per game. Other top scorers are 6-4 sophomore guard J.D. Hoover (13 ppg) and 6-7 junior center Nathaniel Schmittler (10.3 ppg, 8.8 rpg).
Oakland City enters averaging 79.3 points per contest on 46.9% shooting from the field and 39.5% from distance. The Mighty Oaks turn the ball over 15.3 times per game.
For Wesleyan, Cooper said the key will be avoiding any hangover following Monday's loss -- likening it to when the Panthers couldn't move past their season-opening defeat at Bellarmine and, as a result, fell Saturday to Urbana.
"Urbana was a good team, but it was a game we should've won," Cooper said. "I thought Bellarmine beat us twice.
"Oakland City has some dangerous pieces, just like Urbana does. They're a team that when they play with confidence, they make shots. It's a game that we're capable of winning, but it's a game where if we let USI beat us twice, that could happen."