MONTGOMERY — Like a seasoned prizefighter, WVU Tech absorbed a couple of early blows from NAIA No. 6 Lindsey Wilson but had enough left in the tank to post a 59-57 upset Saturday at the Baisi Athletic Center.

“This is a real big win for the Bears,” said junior guard Brent Butler, who tallied a team-high 14 points, registered seven assists and pulled down seven rebounds as Tech (10-11) inched closer to the .500 mark, hiking its Mid-South Conference record to 2-1 in the process. “We went to 2-1 in the conference, knocked off the No. 6 team in the nation, and did it on Alumni Day.”

Trailing 57-54 with about 5 minutes left in the physical affair, the Golden Bears took command in the closing stages. Senior Armand Ivory drilled a three-pointer off a Ronald Eskridge assist with 4:58 to go, then Ivory followed that with a spinning move for a deuce inside at the 3:27 mark to hand Tech what proved to be its final margin, 59-57.

Both teams saw several possessions go awry in the final minutes, but the Blue Raiders obviously paid a bigger price. After Butler retrieved a loose ball on defense then shot too quickly on the other end, Lindsey Wilson got three good looks at the bucket but misfired on all three. The Blue Raiders had yet another opportunity with 2.1 seconds left, but Anthony Labka couldn’t handle an inbound pass from John Fitzgerald as time expired.

“We had four or five possessions near the end (to possibly take the lead), but we just didn’t do it,” said veteran LW coach Paul Peck, whose team dropped to 16-4 overall and 1-2 in league play.

While the contest proved to be a nail-biter at the end, it really hinged on an early defensive change by the Bears, both coaches said afterwards.

After the Raiders were effective on the interior then, later, from outside, in building up a 13-point lead twice midway through the opening half, Tech switched from its man-to-man defense into a matchup zone that allowed it to slow Lindsey Wilson down and begin to make some progress of its own. The Bears whittled away at the deficit, scoring 11 of 12 points in a 4-minute stretch in regaining the lead, 32-31, with 51.7 seconds left.

“The first part of the first half, they were powering us up, with movement, cutting and screening,” explained Tech coach Bob Williams. “The zone changed the game for us.

“I can’t believe we held

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