CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Perhaps some reluctance to fire up 3-point tries might have helped.
Or maybe the University of Charleston could have found a way to deny Wheeling Jesuit those clutch, down-the-stretch baskets that continually kept the Cardinals a bit out of reach.
In the wake of a 32-point loss at West Liberty on Saturday, the Golden Eagles stayed close but trailed virtually the entire game and allowed the Cardinals to collect an 88-80 victory Monday night at Eddie King Gym. A crowd of about 400 attended.
The back-to-back losses taint the glow of an eight-game winning streak, which began with a narrow victory over Glenville State Jan. 6, continued through Thursday's home rout of Shepherd and lifted the Golden Eagles into sole possession of second place in the Mountain East Conference.
"We have to have a short-term memory,'' said UC senior Xavier Humphrey. "Get back in the gym, practice hard, listen to the coaches, go to the scouting report better.''
UC (13-6, 10-5 MEC) remains a half-game in front of third-place Shepherd with seven regular-season games left. Wheeling Jesuit (9-9, 8-7) has won four in a row after losing five straight.
Unable to find much success penetrating the Wheeling Jesuit zone, the Golden Eagles instead attempted 31 3-pointers, more than twice their per-game average of 15.1. They hit 11 from the distance (35.5 percent) and were 28 for 61 (45.9 percent) overall.
"I think we shot a lot of 3s. That's what I think,'' said UC coach Dwaine Osborne. "We wanted to stand around and jack 3s up all night.''
"We settled for 3s too much,'' Humphrey added. "Half our shots were 3s. At the end of the day, we should have been smarter and pounded it inside.''
After the Cardinals constructed a 62-53 lead, their biggest of the night, midway through the second half, UC responded - largely on 3-pointers by Humphrey and Tino diTrapano - and cut the deficit to 78-75 on an Aleksander Kesic layup with 3:25 left.
From there, however, the Cardinals dominated.