Elkins, W. Va. – After a loss on Wednesday night, the Wheeling University Women's Basketball team (12-8, 10-4) were looking to bounce back on the road. They got a career-high effort from Freshman Hannah Archer as they got back in the win column with an 81-73 victory. It was their sixth win in their last seven games as they got back on track to end the month of January.
After not seeing a lot of playing time over the first part of the season, Hannah Archer came off the bench and put together the best game of her college career. She put up a career-high 15 points, including a 5-9 mark from three-point range, as she was the second highest scorer and the leading scorer off the bench. The leading scorer in the day for the Cardinals was Lauren Calhoun, who grabbed her 13th double double of the season finishing with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Calhoun continues to climb the all-time leading scorers list with the effort as she moves through the 2022-23 season. The other double digit scorers on the day for the Cardinals was Shanley Woods, who finished with 16 points, and four three-pointers, on the night. A lot of the Cardinal's success came from three-point range as they shot 52.4% from three-point range.
The Cardinals fell behind early on as the Senators scored five of the first seven points, with the only Cardinal's bucket coming courtesy of Jacqui Hinesmon. Lauren Calhoun hit the Cardinals back on the board with a layup and a Shanley Woods three-pointer gave the Cardinals their first lead at 7-6 with 7:06 to play. Calhoun would add another layup to move Wheeling's lead to 9-6 before the Cardinal's defense stepped up. Wheeling allowed just one free throw over a span of over four and a half minutes and, with 3:56 left in the quarter Wheeling led 10-7. The Senators would then battle back to take the lead, going on a 7-3 run before Carla Torrubia Cano broke the run with a free throw. With 19 seconds left in the quarter, Wheeling trailed 19-16 before Hannah Archer hit a three to tie the game. The score would hold and at the end of the first quarter the game would be tied at 19-19.
Cano got the second quarter started in her team's favor, hitting a layup that started a 6-0 run. The Cardinals would go up 26-20. Wheeling held the Senators off the board for the first three and a half minutes of the quarter and the Senators got back on the board with a layup at the 6:27 mark. After that, Archer began her strong day with three-pointers on three straight possessions as she helped the Cardinals build their lead to 35-26, their biggest lead of the day to that point. Graci Fairman hit her first three-pointer of the day to get the Wheeling to 40 points and a Hinesmon free throw ended the Cardinal's first half scoring. Wheeling went into the locker room leading 41-33 and were looking to hold off the Senators in the second half.
Calhoun got the second half scoring started with a pair of free throws and added another layup a few points later as Wheeling pushed their lead to 47-37. The defense once again took control for the Cardinals, not allowing a Senator point for just over three minutes as Wheeling's offense got going. The Cardinals went on a 6-0 run and the Cardinals led 53-37 with 4:02 left in the third. Woods kept the Cardinals success from three-point range as she made it a 56-39 game before the Senators started battling back. Davis & Elkins would score seven of the next 11 points and cut into the Cardinal's lead. Calhoun hit a free throw to end the quarter for the Cardinals, but Davis & Elkins's Taylor Smith hit a layup to end the quarter and Wheeling led 61-50 heading into the fourth quarter.
Davis & Elkins would score the first three points of the quarter, but a pair of free throws from Shamia Strayhorn put the Cardinals's lead back at 10 points. Neither team would get on the board for the next two minutes before Cano hot a free throw that made it a 67-56 game. Woods would add another three-pointer to push the lead to 70-56 with 5:20 left to play. However, the Senators were not done as Smith led her team on a 10-2 run over the next three minutes to make it a 72-66 game with 2:18 to play. Woods and Archer would seal the game with a three-pointer each and Kenzie Dalton ended the game with two free throws to seal 81-73 win. It was the 10th conference win of the season for the Cardinals as they keep pace with the six-way battle at the top of the conference.
The Wheeling University Women's Basketball team returns to action on Wednesday, February 1st, when they hit the road to face Charleston at 5:30 PM.