Late Comeback Sinks Wheeling in Conference Opener Against Notre Dame
Wheeling, W. Va. - The Wheeling University Women's Basketball team (0-4, 0-1) opened Mountain East Conference (MEC) play on Saturday when they hosted Notre Dame College. After getting a lead early, the Cardinals were unable to hold off a surging Falcons team, and ended up dropping the game 79-70, and fell to 0-1 in conference play.
The Falcons came out of the gate hot with two big three-pointers that had them up 6-2 early on. However,Shamia StrayhornandTaylor Cullengot their team back within one hitting a two-pointer and a three-pointer to bring the score to 8-7. The two teams would trade blows over the next couple of minutes until the score sat tied at 12-12 with 4:05 to play. Nobody would score for the next three minutes as defense played strong and both groups were looking for an advantage. Wheeling would gain that little advantage over the final minute and a half of the quarter, going on a 6-2 run to bring the score to 18-14 after one-quarter of play.
As the second quarter rolled around, Wheeling began to put together their highest offensive output of the season in a single quarter so far. They scored 20 points total in the quarter and put things together just a couple of minutes into the quarter. They would go on an 8-3 run that pushed their lead to 29-21. After Notre Dame battled back to make it a four-point game, Wheeling would get those four points back with a run of their own and brought the score to 33-25. Wheeling added five more points in the quarter and headed into halftime with the lead sitting at 38-30. Wheeling shot 43% from the floor and was able to hold off the Falcons through most of the first half. Once Wheeling took the lead early in the game, they never relinquished that lead up until halftime.
However, in the third quarter, the Falcons would begin to battle back, and brought the score to 44-39 with four minutes to play.Haley Coxhit a two-pointer andAva Lickliterhit a three to get Wheeking up to 49 points before quarter's end. However Notre Dame got on the board five more times before quarter's end, and Wheeling's lead was cut to 49-44 heading into the final 10 minutes of play. Wheeling's field goal percentage dropped to 36% in that third quarter, and they were outscored for the first time all night 14-11. However, Notre Dane was about to put up the most points in a single quarter all game over those final 10 minutes.
Note Dame started the fourth quarter on an 11-6 run, and brought the score to 56-56, marking the first time Wheeling didn't have a lead since the early part of the first quarter. A 9-4 run would give Notre Dane the lead with 3:56 to play, and a three-pointer byShanley Woodsbrought the Cardinals within three a the two-minute mark. However, that was as close as Wheeling would get on the night, as Notre Dame sealed the game with free throws. The Falcons went 9-10 from the free-throw line over those final two minutes and went on to win the game 79-70. Wheeling drops to 0-1 in conference play and drops their his opener in the 2021-3022 season.
Lauren Calhounand Woods highlighted the offense with season-best days. Calhoun scored 22 points to lead the way while Woods was right behind her with 18 points. FreshmanShamia Strayhorndidn't score much, with four points on the day, but passed the ball around effectively with a team-high seven assists. Along with being the team's top scorer, Calhoun did good work under the net, pulling down 13 rebounds for her second double-double of the year.Alysa Edwards-Frickadded a season-high 10 rebounds of her own to round out the Cardinal's defensive effort.
The Wheeling University Women's Basketball team is back in action on Tuesday when they go on the road to face Alderson Broaddus at 5:30 pm.