Wheeling Falls After Late Charge from Davis & Elkins
Wheeling, W. Va. - The Wheeling Women's Basketball team (5-12, 5-8) returned home to the Alma Grace McDonough Center on Saturday after a long stretch on the road. They were in a battle on their home court, but in the end they fell to Davis & Elkins 62-53. After a strong start from the Cardinals offense, Davis & Elkins wore them out overtime and scored 41 second half points on their way to the victory.
Right from the start of the game, the Wheeling offense was clicking on all cylinders thanks to the Mountain East Conference's (MEC) leading scorer Lauren Calhoun. She hit the first two shots of the game on layups, and accounted for eight of her teams first 10 points. After just three minutes of play the Cardinals had gone on an 8-2 run and were in the driver's seat offensively. However, as quickly as the offense started it came to a halt as both defenses stepped up their game. Over the next two minutes of play, there were just two points scored and when the first media timeout came around, Wheeling was the beneficiary up 10-2. The Senators weren't prepared to fall out of contention just yet, as they scored the final eight points of the quarter and tied the score at 10-10 after one quarter of play.
Offense wasn't nearly as easy to come by in the second quarter as the team's traded the first eight points of the quarter and the game was stuck at 14-14 with 7:43 left before halftime. Davis & Elkins would go on the first major run of the half, scoring the five of the next seven points, but Wheeling countered and made it a one-point game with 3:58 left before halftime. The defenses stepped up over the final four minutes of play, and Wheeling still found themselves down one as the clock ticked under a minute. Freshman Ally Ziegler would step up, scoring five points in the final minute of play and sending the Cardinals into halftime up 25-21.
Both offenses responded quickly out of halftime with the teams trading back-to-back buckets to bring the score to 29-23. However, the Senators had just a little bit more firepower than the Cardinals, rattling off an 18-0 run that spanned nearly eight minutes and upped their lead to 41-29. With the Cardinals now forced to play catch-up, they turned to Calhoun, who hit the final two buckets of the quarter, and brought the score to 44-33. Wheeling only managed eight points in that third quarter and were looking for more offense as they moved to the fourth.
Wheeling managed to fight their way back into the game to start the quarter, and turned what was an 11 point deficit into an eight point spread over the first three minutes of the fourth quarter. As the clock ticked past five minutes left in the game, Wheeling continued to go point for point with Davis & Elkins and were trailing 51-43. Freshman Shamia Strayhorn played strong down the stretch scoring a three-pointer with four minutes left, and hitting on a pair of free throws. The Cardinals kept the deficit to single digits into the final minutes of the game but Davis & Elkins wrapped things up from the free throw line. They knocked down four free throws over the final minute to secure the win.
Lauren Calhoun led the scoring with 28 points and picked up her seventh double-double of the season by leading the defensive effort with 17 rebounds. The other Cardinal to finish the afternoon in double figures was Freshman Shamia Strayhorn, who added 18 points to the effort. Wheeling had trouble connecting on shots throughout the night, and finished with a 35% shooting percentage from the floor. Junior Emily Holzopfel led the passing game with five assists on the day and played a big role in the game while not getting on the scoreboard as often as she would have liked.
The Wheeling University Women's Basketball team has a quick turnaround as they are back in action on Monday, January 31st when they host Frostburg State at 6 PM.