Calhoun Sets New Collegiate High in Win Over West Virginia Wesleyan
Buckhannon, W. Va. – The Wheeling University Women's Basketball team (5-11, 5-7) has been on fire over the last couple of weeks. They kept their momentum going on Wednesday when they defeated West Virginia Wesleyan 82-78. Wheeling was able to hold on after a late push by the Bobcats, thanks to a career game for junior Lauren Calhoun.
Calhoun set a new collegiate high leading the offense with 34 points and shooting 53.8% from the floor. The Mountain East Conference's (MEC leading scorer continued her hot streak, scoring 20+ points in three straight games. It was also the second time this season that Calhoun has gone over the 30-point mark this season. She also picked up her seventh double-double of the season as she led the defense with 14 rebounds. While Calhoun was scoring, freshman Shamia Strayhorn had a big game passing the ball around and led the team with seven assists while just missing double digits with nine points on the night. Junior Jacqui Hinesmon rounded out the offense with nine points on the night.
Calhoun got the offense started, scoring the first four points of the night, but the defense played strong early on. Wheeling held the slight 6-5 advantage four minutes into the game, with Calhoun responsible for all of her teams scoring to that point. The game would remain a one-point affair until Wheeling went on their first rub of the night, a 7-2 run as they jumped out to a 16-9 lead late in the first quarter. However, it was West Virginia Wesleyan who got the offense going over the final two minutes of the quarter and led 20-19 after one quarter of play. Wheeling scored just four points during that span and we're looking to get the offense going.
Freshman Ava Lickliter got the offense back on track with a three-pointer to tie the score at 22-22. The lead changed hands three times over the next five minutes, and the score was tied 30-30 with 5:16 left before halftime. Wheeling would put together another 7-2 run over the next three minutes to bring the score to 37-32 with 2:41 to go before halftime. Wheeling would maintain that five-point lead for the rest of the quarter, adding five more points, and headed into halftime leading 42-34. The two teams combined for just seven points over that two and a half minutes and kept Wheeling in the driver seat.
As the third quarter began, the two teams went shot for shot with each other, and Wheeling was able to maintain a six-point lead three minutes into the game. However, the Bobcats would not make it easy for the Cardinals as they took back the lead with a 13-3 run that brought the score to 55-51 in favor of the Bobcats. It was Wheeling's turn to battle back in the game, but the battle wouldn't be easy. They scored nine points over the final three minutes of the quarter, but it wasn't enough to overtake West Virginia Wesleyan. The Bobcats held a 64-61 lead at the end of the third, and it was time for Wheeling's offense to get going.
It was the Cardinals who would get things going on a 9-2 run that would start with w Jacqui Hinesmon layup. They now led 70-66, and it turned out to be a lead that Wheeling would have to fight for. West Virginia Wesleyan would take the lead back one more time, leading 78-77 with three minutes to play. However, Calhoun would score three points and Hinesmon would finish the game with a big free throw as the Cardinals walked away with an 82-78 win. Wheeling now improves to 5-7 in MEC play and has won three of their last four games. They are playing their best basketball now, and look to ride it to the MEC playoffs.
The Wheeling University Women's Basketball team is back in action on Saturday, January 29th, when they host Davis & Elkins at 2 pm.