Philippi, W. Va. - With one week remaining in the Mountain East Conference (MEC) regular season, the Wheeling University women's basketball team (14-13, 12-9) are battling for seeding In the 2023 MEC tournament. The Cardinals got the week started off right as they nearly hit the century mark in their 98-74 win over Alderson Broaddus On Wednesday night. The Cardinals got a combined 41 points off the bench as it was a total team effort to pick up the win.
As she is done throughout the 2023 portion of the schedule, Shamia Strayhorn got the Cardinals going with a pair of layups that put them up 4-0 In the first minute of the game. Cardinals offense would take control from the get-go, scoring six of the first eight points, and adding a three-pointer from Jacqui Hinesmon to extend their lead to 9-2. While the offense is taken care of business on their end, the Cardinals defense was just as good allowing just four Battler point to the first 5 minutes of play. By the first media time out, Wheeling found themselves ahead 12-6 an extended it to as much as 17-6 with 2:50 Left in the quarter. Alderson Broaddus wood fight back, outscoring Wheeling 6-5 over the final two minutes, but the Cardinals would maintain the lead at 22-12 after the first quarter.
Strayhorn was back at it to start the second quarter, scoring six straight points, as the Cardinals push their lead to a game high 16 with just under eight minutes left in the half. After Alderson Broaddus got on the board, the Cardinal bench got going as Kimora Pooler and Graci Fairman got there big night started. Pooler hit a pair of layups to start the run and Fairman would hit a big three pointer that put Wheeling ahead 39-23. Senior Taylor Cullen we didn't get the call off the bench and hit another big three that pushed wheeling over the 40 point mark. Colin would add another layup before the half ended And the Cardinals defense continued to hold strong. Wheeling went into the locker room up 50-27, scoring their highest point total in a first half of a game this season.
After a missed three by the Cardinals to start the second half, Alderson Broaddus for the first bucket of the third quarter and it seems went back and forth on the first six points. Lauren Calhoun, who had been held to just six points in the first half, got the Cardinals offense back on track with a layup and then completed the three-point play with the free throw. Fairman added a three-pointer to complete the short 6-0 Cardinals run as Wheeling took a 62-36 lead. As the game went on, the battlers offense got stronger and stronger, and they put up 20 points in the third quarter. However, Wheeling's big lead was enough to keep them firmly in front of Alderson Broaddus 78-47 by the end of the third quarter.
Even with the lead, Wheeling had no time to sit on their heels as Alderson Broaddus set their game high with 27 points in the fourth quarter. It was back and forth early on in the quarter, with the teams battling to an 82-52 score with just over seven and a half minutes to play. A 6-0 Battler Run got them back to 82-58, but Pooler would hit another layup to stop the run. Head coach Anna Kowalska would get the chance to go to her bench in the fourth quarter as they continued their success. Seniors Cullen and Emily Holzopfel each added four points over the final 10 minutes of play, while freshman Hannah Archer added three points of her own. Even though the Cardinals were out scored 27-20 in the quarter, they were able to hold on and win 98-74.
The Cardinals were led for the third game in a row by sophomore Shamia Strayhorn, who finished with 19 points. Not only was Strayhorn scoring, but she was passing the ball around as well, finishing with a team-best four assists as she continues to play well down the stretch. She was one of four double digit scorers for the Cardinals, with two of those coming from the bench. Kimora Pooler added 16 points on the night and tied with Lauren Calhoun for the team high in rebounds with seven. Calhoun and Graci Fairman rounded out the night's top scorers, finishing with 13 points apiece. The 98 points was the highest output for the Cardinals this season, and marked the fifth time that Wheeling got to the 90-point range this season.
The Wheeling Women's Basketball team returns to action on Saturday, February 25th, when they take on West Liberty at 2 PM.