Lady ‘Cats can’t maintain fourth-quarter lead in 82-78 loss to Wheeling

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – In a game that featured 18 lead changes and seven tie scores, the West Virginia Wesleyan (2-12, 1-11) women’s basketball team fell at home by an 82-78 score to Wheeling (5-11, 5-7) on Wednesday night.
WVWC Leaders
Courtney Wilfong locked down her first career double-double with 20 points and 10 assists. Her 10 assists marked a career-high for that category in a single game. Cleveland, Ohio, native Tamera Maple lit up the scoreboard for a career-high 21 points. Maple went 5-7 from downtown. Electra Allembert was a rebound shy of a double-double, contributing 14 points and nine boards.
Wheeling Leaders
Lauren Calhoun powered her way to 34 points and 14 rebounds. Calhoun was the lone Cardinal to eclipse the double-digit point total mark. Shamia Strayhorn dished out seven assists and swatted five steals. 
Inside the First Half
The visitors scored the four points of the game. WVWC responded with five straight points, highlighted by two good jumpers from Wilfong. Wilfong converted another jump shot prior to a media timeout that made the score 8-7 in favor of Wheeling. The Cards led by as many as seven points in the opening quarter. The Lady ‘Cats rallied and generated their largest scoring run of the first half, an eight-point rout, to take the lead. Symphonie Bryant-Brown drained a three at the buzzer giving Wesleyan a 20-19 advantage at the end of the first.
Maple swished her second triple of the night that pushed the Lady Bobcats ahead by three. Wheeling responded with a four-point run and pulled ahead by one. Maple delivered again with a three that put WVWC up two with 5:33 to go in the half. The Cardinals scored nine straight points and led by seven with less than three minutes to go in the period. The visitors padded an eight-point lead to conclude the first half.
Inside the Second Half
Bryant-Brown stole a pass and finished at the other end to open the scoring in the third quarter. The Cards built their biggest lead of the game and were ahead by 10 points with nine minutes remaining in the third. Wilfong hit a three to cut the deficit to seven. Maple converted a three off of a Wheeling turnover to put Wesleyan within four points. A Maple layup and a Wilfong jumper tied the score at 48 midway through the third quarter. 
The Lady ‘Cats regained the lead with a Malaika Kimmons putback layup at the 4:21 mark. Wesleyan extended their lead to six after Wilfong sank two shots from the charity stripe. Allembert drilled a triple that increased WVWC’s lead to seven with less than a minute to go in the quarter, the home team’s largest lead of the night. The Cardinals closed out the quarter scoring four straight and trailed the home team 64-61 after three quarters of action.
Wheeling regained the lead after a triple with nine minutes in regulation. Cierra Tolbert drilled two free throws that gave WVWC the lead back. The visitors scored five straight to go ahead by four points with less than eight minutes to go. The Lady Bobcats trailed until Allembert scored off of a steal from Kimmons to put WVWC on top by one with 3:09 left. Wheeling pulled ahead when Calhoun made a layup with 2:46 to go. Calhoun struck again and gave the Cards a three-point cushion with less than 90 seconds on the clock. The Lady Bobcats had several good looks from the field in the closing seconds. Wheeling prevailed with an 82-78 road victory.
Up Next
The Lady Bobcats are slated to square off against the Hilltoppers of West Liberty on Sunday (Jan. 30) at 2 p.m.

News Feed

Subscribe to remove popups, or just enjoy this free story and support our local businesses!