Wheeling, W. Va. – The Wheeling University Women's Basketball team's (12-12, 10-8) string of regionally ranked opponents wrapped up on Saturday when they hosted nationally ranked Glenville State. The Cardinals had the advantage throughout the first half, but the hot start wasn't enough as they fell to the Pioneers 81-74. The Cardinals honored Lauren Calhoun before the game for scoring her 1,000th career point back in January and she would lead the way with career best effort.
Early on the Cardinals had the Pioneers back on their heels, scoring the first nine points of the contest. Calhoun would be the one leading the charge, scoring the first six points and a three-pointer by Shanley Woods would stretch the Cardinal's lead to 9-0 over the first minute and a half of play. Glenville State's Kamiyah Lyons got her team on the board with a free throw, but Calhoun was at it again with a jumper that would push the score to 11-1. A 5-0 Pioneer run would bring the score back to 11-6, but once again Calhoun broke the run with a layup for her 10th point in the first five minutes. That layup would start another 7-0 run would push the Wheeling lead to 20-6 with 2:35 to go in the quarter. Wheeling's offense exoded for seven more points over the final two and a half minutes and led 27-13 after one.
Shamia Strayhorn would get the second quarter started with a layup and Wheeling was staked to a 29-13 lead. Glenville State would get four more points on the board before the Cardinals added a third run, this time 5-0, and the Cardinals found themselves ahead 34-20. Strayhorn would add two more free throws and by the second quarter media timeout Wheeling led 37-24. Woods topped that with a three-pointer coming out of the break before Glenville State's offense really got going. The Cardinals were held to just three points over the final three and a half minutes of play as the Pioneers defense stood strong. Glenville State would outscore Wheeling 13-3 during that span and Wheeling went into the half leading 43-37.
Coming out of the halftime, Glenville State just kept on scoring, going on a 10-0 run to start the new half. They took the lead for the first time in the game at 47-43 before Graci Fairman broke the run to brought it back to a two-point game. A pair of Glenville State free throws would be the lone scores for the next two minutes before a Pioneers layup by Breanna Campbell broke the scoreless string. Calhoun would hit a jumper to get Wheeling back on the board, but a Glenville State three-pointer would send the teams into the media timeout with the Pioneers leading 54-47. Offense would be hard to come by over the next three minutes of play, and Wheeling battled back to make it a 56-55 game. Glenville State added a pair of free throws and a jumper and after three, Wheeling trailed 60-57.
Strayhorn would get the fourth quarter started with a layup and completed the three-point play to tie things up at 60-60. After Glenville State got the lead back to 64-62, Woods hit a big three-pointer that put Wheeling ahead 65-64. Jacqui Hinesmon added a layup to make it 67-64, but the lead wouldn't last long as Glenville State went on a 9-0 run to flip the script and put the Pioneers ahead 73-67. With the final media timeout having come and gone, the Cardinals would try to battle back in the game and got as close as 73-69 on a layup from Carla Torrubia Cano. However, they could not catch up to the Pioneers for the rest of the game and would end up falling 81-74 to move to 10-8 in MEC play.
Calhoun capped off her big day, where she finished just five points shy of the program record for points in a single game. She scored 36 points on the night and just missed out on the double double finishing with nine rebounds. Shamia Strayhorn was the only other Cardinal to score in double figures, finishing with 11 points. Kenzie Dalton would lead the passing game with four assists while Carla Torrubia Cano and Jacqui Hinesmon added seven and eight rebounds respectively. The Cardinals now head into their final four games of the regular season looking to clinch that first round bye. With games remaining against Fairmont State and West Liberty still ahead of them, it won't be an easy task as the Cardinals try to get back on track.
The Wheeling University Women's Basketball team returns to action on Wednesday, February 15th when they hit the road to face Fairmont State at 5:30 PM.