Wheeling Drops Overtime Thriller Against West Virginia State
Wheeling, W. Va. - Wednesday night was a big night for the Wheeling University Women's Basketball team (2-7, 2-3) as they were hosting the team tied for #7 in the Atlantic Region, West Virginia State. The Cardinals were able to battle to overtime with the Yellow Jackets, but in the end it wasn't meant to be as they fell 99-95 to drop to 2-3 in Mountain East Conference play.
It looked like Wheeling was ready to have another flare for the dramatic, but it would take a comeback to do so. With two minutes left in the game, Wheeling was trailing 86-79, but started to get going as time was expiring. The Cardinals would score seven unanswered points, and once again has the ball in their hands late in the fourth quarter. With 14 seconds showing on the game clock, Wheeling had a little more time than the previous night, but once again got the ball in the hands of freshman Shania Strayhorn. She went barreling towards the net, and was able to get the layup up, but unfortunately, it didn't fall through and regulation ended with the score knotted at 86-86.
The teams traded the first few buckets of the overtime period, and aLauren Calhounlayup would give Wheeling the slight 90-89 advantage with 3:33 to play in the extra time. After a bucket gave West Virginia State a 93-90 lead, juniorMaura Castellucibrought the game back to within one making two free throws with a minute fifty six to play. However, the Yellow Jackets would clinch things at the free throw line, making four of the six free throws they shot, and brought the final score to 99-95.
Even though it goes in the loss column, Wheeling battled against the team that entered play tied for 7thin the Atlantic Regional Rankings. The Cardinals got out to an early lead whenShanley Woodsgot hot from behind the three-point arc, making three consecutive shots to get Wheeling up 11-2 over the first three and a half minutes of play. That 11-2 lead is one they would not give up throughout the entire first half, as they continued to hold off the Yellow Jackets attack. By the end of the first quarter, the score sat at 17-11 as Wheeling looked to stay hot.
In the second quarter, the Cardinals had their best offensive showing of the night, putting up 23 points and tying a season-high for most points scored in a quarter. However, West Virginia State was equally as good, putting up 27 points and cutting Wheeling's halftime lead to 40-38. The Yellow Jackets overtook Wheeling for the first time four minutes into the third quarter, when they took a 46-40 lead. However, Wheeling never let them pull too far away, and the third quarter ended with the Cardinals down 62-57.
Then, the fourth quarter started and the Wheeling offense got hot, putting up a season high 29 points in that fourth quarter of play. After being down the entire quarter, the Cardinals found the fight to battle back and tie the game in the final minute of play to force the overtime period.
However, after a tough overtime battle, it wasn't meant to be as Wheeling dropped their third conference game of the season. Wheeling was led on the day by aseason-high 25 point effort from Woods and a 23-point day fromLauren Calhoun. For Calhoun, it was her second straight double-double as she grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the defense. FreshmanShamia Strayhornalso picked up a double-double with 14 points and 12 assists in the game.
The Wheeling University Women's Basketball team is back in action on Monday, December 13th, when they face the University of Charleston at 6 PM.