#3 Charleston def. #6 Wheeling, 62-51
WHEELING – Third-seeded Charleston used a lock down defense to advance past sixth-seeded Wheeling with a 62-51 victory on Thursday afternoon in the second quarterfinal matchup of the 2023 Mountain East Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament, presented by The Health Plan.
With the win, Charleston will now take on seventh-seeded Concord, who knocked off the second-seeded Yellow Jackets of West Virginia State, 86-83, in Thursday’s first quarterfinal. The Charleston-Concord semifinal is set for Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. inside WesBanco Arena.
“We are extremely thankful to be in this position. I’m proud of the way the team fought through the slow start and continued to be resilient, and as a result we came away with the outcome that we wanted today, said UC head coach Tianni Kelly.
Charleston, who entered the tournament as the top defensive team in the Mountain East Conference from the regular season, held Wheeling to just 18-of-58 from the floor (31.0), including 3-of-11 from three (27.3%). The Golden Eagles forced 16 turnovers - scoring 18 points off those turnovers.
On the offensive end, Charleston got 17 points and four rebounds from Markyia McCormick and 15 points and seven rebounds form Dakota Reeves. Clarrissa Francis also reached double-figures with 13 points to go with six rebounds. Trinity Palacio finished just outside of double-figures with nine points, while Haley Moore pulled down a team-high nine rebounds for UC.
Charleston shot 37.9 percent from the floor (25-of-66), with over half of its point coming in the paint (36).
Wheeling got a team-high 19 points and 13 rebounds from first team All-MEC standout Lauren Calhoun. The Cardinals also got eight points from Fatima Mohammad.
The game had four ties and three lead changes, all of which took place in the first half.
Wheeling led 27-22 with 3:23 remaining in the second quarter, but a 10-0 scoring run to close out the first half gave the Golden Eagles the lead for good as UC took a 32-27 lead into the locker room. Charleston extended its lead to as many as 19 with 4:45 remaining in the fourth-quarter, before a late scoring run by the Cardinals closed the final margin of victory to 11.