WHEELING, W.Va. – The West Virginia Wesleyan (2-4, 1-3) women’s basketball team fell to Wheeling (2-5, 2-2) by a score of 52-51 at the Alma Grace McDonough Center on Saturday afternoon.
Wheeling’s Shamia Strayhorn hit the game-winning three-point basket as time expired from just beyond the half court line.
Imani Jackson led the Lady Bobcats with 15 points and six assists. Courtney Wilfong added 14 points and pulled down six boards. Cierra Tolbert grabbed six defensive rebounds and two offensive rebounds.
Lauren Calhoun powered her way to a double-double with 20 points and 23 rebounds. Strayhorn facilitated the offense with five assists. Haley Cox and Strayhorn both forced two steals each.
The game featured nine lead changes and four tie scores. The Lady Bobcats held the lead for 19:13 of game time, while the Cardinals led for 17:01 of game time. Wesleyan shot 34.5% from the field and Wheeling shot 33.3%.
Inside the First Half
Wesleyan jumped out to an 8-2 lead after Kamryn Williamson’s jumper at the 5:18 mark in the first quarter. The Lady Bobcats and Cardinals were tied at 12 points after one quarter of play. The Cardinals scored the first four points of the second frame. Wheeling extended their lead to eight points with 1:16 to go in the first half. Jackson successfully converted two free throw attempts at the end of the first half to pull WVWC within six points.
Inside the Second Half
The Lady Bobcats began the second half on a 9-0 scoring run to go ahead 33-30 with 5:23 left in the third quarter. The scoring run was capped off by a three-point basket and a made jump shot by Wilfong. Wheeling reclaimed the lead with 3:02 remaining in the third. Layups from Symphonie Bryant-Brown and Jackson gave the Lady Bobcats a three-point lead. Maura Castelluci made a three-point basket at the end of the third quarter and tied the score at 37.
Wesleyan trailed by one point when a Wilfong layup gave WVWC a 42-41 lead. Ariana Harmon delivered a layup to extend the Bobcat lead to three points at the midway point in the final quarter. A Calhoun layup put Wheeling back ahead with 3:12 left.
Wesleyan trailed by three points with 23 seconds left when Cierra Tolbert drained a basket to make it a one-point game. Harmon drove the lane and made a go-ahead layup to give WVWC a 50-49 lead with eight seconds to go. Following a Wheeling turnover, Harmon made a free throw with five seconds left to give WVWC a two-point edge. Strayhorn nailed a desperation three-point shot as time expired, and the home team escaped with a 52-51 win.
The Lady Bobcats have a midweek road contest versus Alderson Broaddus on Wednesday in Philippi. The game will begin at 5:30 p.m.