Women's Basketball Honors Seniors in Loss to West Liberty
Wheeling, W. Va. – It was rivalry day in the Alma Grace McDonough Center on Saturday as the Wheeling Women's Basketball team hosted West Liberty. The Cardinals honored Senior Alysa Edwards-Frick before the game on senior night and fought hard throughout the night. Unfortunately, they fell to the Hilltoppers 82-46 and finish the regular season with a mark of 7-19 and 7-15 in conference play.
The Hilltoppers took control early on when they hit a jumper and back-to-back three-pointers that had them out to an 8-0 lead two minutes into the game. Wheeling head coach Matt Schmidt would then call a timeout to re-situate his girls and get them back on track. They responded as Lauren Calhoun made a layup coming out of the timeout, but the Hilltoppers kept scoring and extended their lead to 12-2. Neither team scored for the next minute before Jacqui Hinesmon came to the line and went 1-2 on her free throws to bring the score to 12-3. The teams would combine for 10 points over the next four minutes before a scoring frenzy started at the 1:40 mark. The Hilltoppers added four points while Wheeling added three and the teams ended the first half with the score at 20-9 in favor of West Liberty.
It was once again Calhoun who got the scoring started in the second quarter with a layup, but Shanley Woods started getting hot from the floor. She hit a jumper that made it a 30-15 game before the defense stepped in and played rock solid. Neither team scored a point from the 6:47 mark until under three minutes left in the quarter when West Liberty led 33-15. Woods would also net Wheeling's final bucket of the half with 1:46 to play and Wheeling would head into the locker room trailing 35-17. The Cardinals were taking their shots, but unfortunately, none of them were hitting as they shot just 16% from the floor in the first half.
At the start of the second half, Calhoun got the offense going with a layup, and Jacqui Hinesmon added a layup of her own to make it a 37-21 game. However, the Hilltoppers went on an 8-0 run that pushed the game back to a 46-21 affair. As West Liberty kept scoring so did Wheeling as they greatly improved from the floor. After shooting just 16% from the floor in the first half, Wheeling came back and shot 33% from the floor in the third quarter. They got into double figures in a quarter for the first time in the game with 14 points, but West Liberty was over the 20 point mark once again and led 58-31 with 10 minutes to play.
Over the final ten minutes of the game, both teams went to their benches allowing players to earn minutes on the court. The Cardinals spread the ball around throughout that quarter with six different Cardinals scoring in those final 10 minutes. After being honored before the game, senior Alysa Edwards-Frick scored her first points of the night with a layup and go her on the board in what was the final home game of her collegiate career. Ava Lickliter added a three in the quarter and two free throws from Annie Hunt ended the night. West Liberty picked up the 82-46 win. That was 25 points less than the Hilltoppers scored in the previous meeting as the Cardinals continue to grow.
Senior Lauren Calhoun finished her regular season with her 16th double-double and her 11th double-double in her last 12 games played. She scored a game-high 12 points for her team while grabbing 15 rebounds in the loss. Shanley Woods was the other Cardinal to end the day in double figures, putting I 10 points in the game. She tied for the team lead with one three-pointer and shot 2-9 from the floor. In total, 10 Cardinals scored at least a point in the game as the Cardinals shot 22% from the floor and 15% from three-point range. The Cardinals now head into the Mountain East Conference (MEC) tournament as the #9 seed and will play in the first round on Wednesday, March 2nd.
The Wheeling Women's Basketball team will take on #8 seeded Alderson Broaddus in the first round of the playoffs on Wednesday with tip-off at 2:15 pm.