Grogan scores career-high 41 in Wiley College season opener
Patterson High alum and Wiley College senior Taylan Grogan had the best performance in his collegiate career Saturday as he scored 41 points to lift the 22nd-ranked Wiley College men's basketball team to a 94-84 overtime victory over Philander Smith College during Homecoming at Alumni Gymnasium in Marshall, Texas.
Grogan shot 12-for-19 from the field, including 4-for-6 from 3-point territory, as he scored the most points in a season opener since before 2006. He hit 13 of 16 free throw attempts. Grogan added three assists and three steals.
"He was extremely efficient for us," Wiley head coach Chase Campbell said in a news release. "He took control of the game late."
The Wildcats (1-0) opened the season with a victory for the 11th time in the last 14 seasons. This is the first time they've gone to overtime in the season opener since before 2005. This marks the third straight victory over Philander Smith and fourth in the season opener.
Four Wiley College players scored in double-figures. Senior Travious Grubbs followed Grogan with 16 points. He hit four 3-pointers while contributing seven rebounds, four steals, four assists and a block. Junior Devin Ellis nearly recorded a double-double off the bench with 12 points and nine rebounds. He added four steals, four assists and two blocks. Junior Jamir Cheek scored 11 points with five rebounds and two assists.
The Wildcats narrowly out-shot Philander Smith, 45.9 percent to 45.7 percent. The Panthers edged Wiley College 44-42 in rebounds. The turnover battle was even as both teams committed 23 turnovers. The Wildcats recorded 13 steals and outscored Philander Smith 20-16 in points off turnovers.
In the first half, Wiley College shot 11-for-21 from the field. It led most of the first half.
With the score tied at 15, senior Devlon Noble made a layup. Two 3-pointers by Grubbs increased Wiley College's lead to 10 with less than three minutes remaining in the first half. Wiley College held a 36-28 advantage at halftime.
The Wildcats were unable to maintain their momentum in the second half as Philander Smith hit 21 of 32 shots and stormed back to take their first lead since the beginning of the game with 12:42 left. Wiley College trailed by as many as nine with 2:25 left in the game.
That's when it rallied.
Three fouls led to six free throws for the Wildcats. Grogan got a steal and passed to Cheek, who cut Philander Smith's advantage to 78-75 with 1:22 remaining.
Trailing by three with less than a minute remaining, Ellis stole the ball and was fouled. He split his free throws to tie the game at 80. Both teams had chances but were unable to break the tie.
"Our guys showed a ton of resiliency tonight," Campbell said. "Our guys decided they were not going to lose. We tell our guys every day to sell out. They sold out tonight and played their hardest. I'm happy for them. They worked together and played unbelievable basketball."
Grogan scored the Wildcats first seven points of overtime, starting with a basket with 3:47 remaining. He was fouled shooting a 3-pointer and hit all three free throws to give Wiley College a five-point edge.
The Panthers only made one shot in eight attempts. They were depleted as four players fouled out.
The teams will rematch Nov. 9, in Little Rock, Arkansas, for Philander Smith's Homecoming.