BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Wesleyan women’s basketball team picked up a much-needed conference victory at home on Wednesday night against Notre Dame College 75-68. The Falcons shot better from the field but the Lady Bobcats were 19-of-25 from the free line proved to be crucial in the win.
A Daveona Hatchell put-back layup got the Lady Bobcats on the board first. Notre Dame’s Alana Ellis answered with a layup of her own just seconds later. The offense ran through Emma Witt and Hatchell in the opening quarter, with the two combining for 14 of Wesleyan’s 18 points. Witt scored eight of her ten first half points in the first quarter. NDC had traded baskets with Wesleyan but a 7-0 run propelled the Lady Bobcats to a 18-11 lead at the end of quarter one.
Anytime NDC attempted to cut into the lead, the Lady Bobcats had an answer in the second quarter. Wesleyan found their game in the paint, converting on layups from Courtney Wilfong, Witt, Hatchell and others. The Lady Bobcats built a nine-point lead off of a M’laya Ainsworth three with just a little over a minute left in the half. Amil Ali-Shakir hit a layup in the final minute to trim Wesleyan’s lead to 31-24 at the break.
Witt came out of the locker room scoring once again, getting the lead back to nine. The Falcons would get back within five but both times the Lady Bobcats built their lead back up, whether from the free throw line or from deep. Genes knocked down two big shots from behind the arc in the quarter. Converted free throws from Wilfong and Genes gave the Lady Bobcats a 48-40 advantage going into the closing quarter.
Genes connected on another three to start the fourth quarter, her third and final one of the game. Wesleyan continued to stop any opportunity the Falcons presented to get back into the game, answering Notre Dame’s baskets with buckets of their own. Going into the final media timeout of the game, the Lady Bobcats led 60-51.
The Falcons cut it to just 69-66 after a Marina Adachi deep three from the top of the key with 51 seconds left. Wilfong came up big for WVWC at the end of the game. NDC would gamble and allow easy layups in the closing seconds of the game to allow the Lady Bobcats to close it out.
Adachi led the Falcons with 13 points. Lizzie Imrie chimed in 10 points and six rebounds in the loss.
Witt was one of four scorers to reach double-figures, scoring 19 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Genes finished with 18 points, including three makes from behind the arc. Wilfong shot 8-10 from the free throw line, closing the game out with 14 points. Hatchell flirted with a double-double, scoring 10 points and pulling down eight rebounds.
The Lady Bobcats travel to Philippi on Saturday to take on Alderson Broaddus at 2 p.m. in a crucial MEC matchup.