Women's Basketball Knocks Off Alderson Broaddus to Advance to MEC Quarterfinals
Wheeling, W. Va. - It came down to the wire inside the WesBanco Arena, and the Wheeling University Women's Basketball team (8-19, 7-15) took down #8 seeded Alderson Broaddus 68-62. They now advance to the Mountain East Conference (MEC) Quarterfinal round, where they meet up with #1 seeded Glenville State.
Coming out of the half, Wheeling trailed 36-33 and the teams would go on to battle back and forth throughout the final two quarters of the game. No team led by more than four points in the second half as the two teams traded scores for most of the half. Lauren Calhoun started the second half with a layup that made it a 36-35 game, but for every bucket hit Alderson Broaddus would respond and maintained their lead until the 4:23 mark of the third quarter. Calhoun would eventually tie the game at 44-44 with a layup and Alderson Broaddus would go ahead again adding three points. Wheeling wouldn't overtake the Battlers but stayed right with them ending the third quarter with the score Alderson Broaddus 49, Wheeling 48.
As the fourth quarter began, the Battlers maintained their lead through the first three minutes of the quarter before Calhoun hit a free throw to tie the score at 51-51. The Battlers once again got the lead and led 56-53 with four minutes left on the clock and Wheeling was looking for a way to retake the lead. Freshman Ava Lickliter hit a big three-pointer with 1:39 to play. The two teams would trade the next two baskets before Jacqui Hinesmon sealed the game with two free throws that gave Wheeling a 64-62 lead. The Cardinals added four more free throws and brought the game to its final score of 68-62. The Cardinals advance to the quarterfinal round for the second year in a row as they try to make a move in the tournament.
Calhoun led the offense once again with 22 points and collected her 12th double-double in her last 13 games with a team-high 10 rebounds. She had to sit out most of the first half after getting into foul trouble and came on in a huge way in the second half. Shamia Strayhorn and Jacqui Hinesmon followed her up with 11 points each, making three Cardinals finish the night in double figures. As a team, Wheeling shot an impressive 49% from the floor, and Head Coach Matt Schmidt was happy with his team's play.
"I'm really proud of our team and the effort that they put in today," said Schmidt. "We played AB earlier in the year and they are a really good basketball team, so we just had to find a way to get it done. I think defensively we played a really great game, and everyone contributed in some fashion. And then it was winning the battle on the floor whether it was by one or by two. I'm just really proud of our group."
The Cardinals got on the board early as Lauren Calhoun hit the opening layup to get the Cardinals out to a 2-0 lead. However, Alderson Broaddus would take the lead right back with seven straight points, and the Battlers led 7-2 over the first two minutes of the game. It would become a battle for the Cardinals, but slowly and surely, they fought their way back and tied the game 16-16 with just over two minutes to play. During that run, Calhoun totaled four points and back-to-back threes from Taylor Cullen and Shamia Strayhorn would even the game. Strayhorn was back at it with one more three before the quarter wrapped up and Wheeling led 19-16 after one.
Alderson Broaddus quickly evened the score with a three to start the second quarter and the back-and-forth began throughout the quarter. The lead would change hands four times over the 10 minutes before the teams hit the locker room. Wheeling led for a majority of the quarter, retaking the lead on a jumper by Strayhorn and they held on to a slim lead up until the 2:15 mark of the second quarter. The Battlers would tack on a jumper to take a 32-31 lead and Shanley Woods would add a jumper that got Wheeling right back in front 33-32. However, that would be Wheeling's final point of the quarter as the Battlers added four more and went into halftime up 36-33. Cullen nearly tied the game before the half, but the shot bounced out and Wheeling went in trailing by three.
The Wheeling University Women's Basketball team returns to action on Thursday, March 3rd, when they battle #1 seeded Glenville State with tip-off at 6 PM.