Late Push Not Enough as Women's Basketball Falls to Concord
Athens, W. Va. – The Wheeling Women's Basketball team (2-10, 2-6) hit the road on Saturday when they took on Concord in Mountain East Conference (MEC) play. They fell behind early in the game and were able to battle back, but it wasn't enough as they fell to the Mountain Lions 83-66. The Cardinals set a new season-high with 24 fourth-quarter points, but the comeback ended up falling just short.
The Cardinals managed 24 points through the first 20 minutes of play and went into halftime trailing 58-24. With the team being down by 34 points, it looked like it may be another repeat of what happened against Glenville State. However, Wheeling came out in the third quarter determined to not have another collapse. Neither team scored over the first minute of the third quarter until a free throw by Concord got the scoring started, and mass it an even 60-24. A jumper by juniorJacqui Hinesmongot the Cardinals' offense going as they started chewing away at the Mountain Lion lead. A 10-2 run to cut the lead to under 30, with juniorLauren Calhounscoring six of those 10 points. Wheeling and Concord continued to go shot for shot with each other throughout the third quarter, but by the end, Wheeling was still down by 28 points, 70-42.
As the game moved to the fourth quarter, Concord scored the first three points and extended their lead to 73-42. However, the Cardinals' offense came to life as they matched their total for the entire first half over the last ten minutes of the game. FreshmanShamia Strayhornstarted the offense with five straight points, hitting a jumper a lay-up, and a free throw. Their first run came at the 6:51 mark when they put together a 6-2 run whereLauren CalhounandTaylor Cullenscored four and two points respectively. As the five-minute mark ticked away, both teams went to their bench to end the game. Wheeling would put together one final run over the final 4:19 of play, scoring 14 of the final 16 points of the game. During the run, freshmanAlly Ziegler(4),Macyla Collins(2), andAlivia Thompson(2) all scored on the run, but it wasn't enough as Wheeling fell 83-66.
Before Wheeling's offense got going after halftime, it was Concord that had the firepower on their side over the first 20 minutes. The Mountain Lions scored 24 points in the first quarter and added 34-second quarter points for 58 by the time halftime rolled around. Nearly every shot that Concord took was falling, as they shot 56.25% and 66.67% respectively in those two quarters. On the flip side, Wheeling was taking the shots, but they just weren't falling. Wheeling outshot Concord 19-16 over the first 10 minutes of play, but only made 15% of their shots. As the night went on, Wheeling made more and more shots, but the Cardinals still shot just 25% in the second quarter.
However, as the shooting percentage went up, so did the number on the scoreboard for the Cardinals. Throughout the day, Wheeling would score more and more points in each quarter, going from 11 first-quarter points to the season-high 24 points in the fourth quarter. The problem early was the Cardinals had problems stopping Concord's runs. However, as Calhoun and Strayhorn began to heat up, so did the rest of the team. The offensive outburst in the third and fourth quarters is a positive sign for the team, and something they can build off of moving forward. The other positive is the play of the bench over the final four minutes of play, showing the depth this team has available to them.
The offensive leader for the Cardinals wasLauren Calhoun, who finished with 21 points and eight rebounds. She eclipsed the 20-point mark for the fifth time this season and shot an impressive 47.5% from the floor. She was one of three Cardinals to finish in double digits in the day asShamia Strayhorn(11) andJacqui Hinesmon(10) each put up double digits in the loss. Hinesmon led the team in shooting percentage, shooting 5-10 from the floor, and Strayhorn led the team with four assists on the day. Every Cardinal that got in the game scored at least two points, and freshmanAnnie Hunt(5) andAlly Ziegler(4) led the day in points off the bench.
The Wheeling Women's Basketball team is back on action on Wednesday, January 12thwhen they go on the road to face Fairmont State at 5:30 pm.