Strayhorn’s Buzzer Beater Leads Wheeling to Win Over West Virginia Wesleyan
Wheeling, W. Va. - It came down to the game's final minutes on Saturday afternoon, but the Wheeling University Women's Basketball team (2-5, 2-2) came out on top as they beat West Virginia Wesleyan 52-51. The Cardinals got the ball in their hands with less than five seconds to go, and freshmanShamia Strayhorn hit the game winning shot from half court to secure the teams second Mountain East Conference (MEC) victory of the season.
Things looked like they were going to take a very different turn just seconds earlier when the Bobcats had control of the ball with 20 seconds left in the game. Their guard, Arianna Harmond made a layup and added a free throw with five seconds left in the game to give them a 51-49 lead over the Cardinals. However, the missed free throw would prove to be deadly for the Bobcats as it gave Wheeling a chance to win the game on the final possession. Head CoachMatt Schmidtcalled a timeout to advance the ball and give the Cardinals a shot in their own zone.
Shamia Strayhorninbounded the ball, and found it back in her hands a couple of seconds later. She was heavily guarded at the volleyball line, and took a step back to launch what was a desperation shot. However, she had enough power on it as it sank through and gave the Cardinals the 52-51 win they needed to even their conference record. Strayhorn wasn't on the board much throughout the night, with just six points total on the day, but she came through when her team needed it most in the final seconds of the game.
It was juniorLauren Calhounwho led the offensive effort for Wheeling, scoring 20 points on the day and went off on the defensive side of the ball with a season-high 23 rebounds on her way to her third double-double of the season. She was one of two Cardinals to finish the day in double figures in a game that was very much a defensive battle throughout the night. It was going to come down to the last possession either way, and fortunately for the Cardinals the shot went their way.
Early on, it was West Virginia Wesleyan that got on the board, scoring eight of the first 10 points in the game and caused Wheeling to have to battle back. As the game unfolded, Wheeling slowly pushed their way back into the game, and tied things at 12-12 with 10 seconds to play in the first quarter. The score would remain their as time ran out, and it was back to square one in the second quarter. JuniorMaura Castelluci and Calhoun each made jumpers to get the offense going on a 9-2 run to start the second quarter as the Cardinals extended their lead to 22-14.
It was a lead they would never relinquish as they continued to battle throughout the quarter, heading into halftime ahead 30-24. As the third quarter started, West Virginia Wesleyan battled back and took the lead 31-30 with 6:34 to play in the quarter. It would remain a back and forth affair throughout the second half, as the lead changed seven times before the final shot was made. For Wheeling the biggest lead change came on that final shot as they secured their second Mountain East Conference (MEC) win of the season.
The Wheeling University Women's Basketball team is back in action on Wednesday, December 8th, when they take on West Virginia State at 5:30 pm.