Wheeling, W.Va. – For the first time in 2022-23, the Wheeling Women’s Basketball team (3-1, 1-1) took their home court inside the Alma Grace McDonough Center. They got out to a fast start early on and were able to ride that to a 91-66 win in front of their home fans. It was their first Mountain East Conference (MEC) win of the season as they put up 20+ points in two of the four quarters on the night.
The Cardinals scored a season-high 21 points in the first quarter, and their offense got started right away. Jacqui Hinesmon and Lauren Calhoun got the day started with a pair of layups before Alderson Broaddus answered with three of their own. However, the game wouldn’t be close for long as the Cardinals scored 10 straight points over the next five minutes to extend their lead to 14-3. Four different Cardinals contributed during the run with the big blow being a three courtesy of Shanley Woods. While the offense was hitting their shots, the defense was doing their part limiting the Battlers opportunities. They allowed just eight points in the first quarter and after 10 minutes of play Wheeling was ahead 21-8. Calhoun finished with six points in that first quarter and was just getting started on what would be a huge day.
As the second quarter tipped off, Wheeling would get on the board with a layup from Fatima Mohammad. However, Alderson Broaddus wasn’t ready to lay down as they came back on a 9-2 run that made it a 10-point affair at 27-17. Woods would slow down the run with a three and she responded with a jumper that made it an 11 point game. With just 2:09 remaining before the half, Alderson Broaddus still trailed by 11 when Bryana Henderson hit a jumper that made it 34-23 with 56 seconds to go. Alderson Broaddus added one more jumper before the quarter came to an end, but Wheeling went into the locker room ahead 34-25. After shooting just over 56% In the first quarter, the Cardinals had lost a little touch shooting just 33.3% in the second. They looked to get their shot going as they came out of the locker room.
However, it would be Alderson Broaddus who got the second half started making it a four-point game after a two and a three to start the half. Freshman Kenzie Dalton hit a jumper to get the Cardinals on the board and started what would be a big second half. She led her team on an 8-0 run, scoring four points herself, as the Cardinals extended their lead to 42-30. The Cardinals continued to feed the hot hand, and five minutes into the third quarter Dalton had racked up seven points. The Cardinals still led by 10 with 3:45 to go in the quarter before Calhoun once again made her mark on the game. She converted on a three-point play to start a 7-0 run that was capped off by a Shamia Strayhorn three as Wheeling opened things up to 58-39. Wheeling would set their new season high for points in a quarter with 28 in the third as they headed into the final 10 minutes of play leading 62-44.
With the lead on their side, the Cardinals began to spread the ball around and get everyone involved over the final 10 minutes. Tayler Cullen started the quarter with the teams first three points getting on the board for the first time on the day. Cullen continued her success with a Big three with seven minutes to go, bringing her total for the fourth quarter to six points. Graci Fairman, who had already been playing a strong game for the Cardinals to that point, added a pair of free throws and a jumper before head Coach Anna Kowalska got to empty her bench. Carla Torrubia Cano added a jumper and a three from Lucia Gonzales de Las Cuevas capped off the big scoring night. The Cardinals put up a season-high 91 points as they got their first conference win 91-66.
Lauren Calhoun set a new career-high with 26 points and just missed out on a double-double with seven rebounds. She was one of four double figure scorers for the Cardinals with Shanley Woods (10), Jacqui Hinesmon (10), and Graci Fairman (11) all finishing with strong nights. Freshman Kenzie Dalton just missed double digits, finishing with eight points, but was the team’s leader with six assists and sat second on the team with six rebounds. Hinesmon and Woods each also contributed on defense with five and four rebounds, respectively. The Cardinals are now off until Thanksgiving break as they gather momentum here at the end of November.
The Wheeling University Women’s Basketball team returns to action on Wednesday, November 39th when they host Davis & Elkins at 5:30 PM.