Wheeling Drops Two To Charleston
WHEELING — It was a tough day to be a Cardinal.
Wheeling University’s men’s and women’s basketball teams both suffered lopsided defeats to the University of Charleston at the McDonough Center Saturday afternoon.
The Cardinal women dropped a 75-43 decision in the opener while their male counterparts absorbed a 95-71 setback.
The Wheeling women are now 3-7 overall and 2-5 in Mountain East Conference play. The Cardinal men are 6-4 and 3-3 in the MEC.
The Wheeling women return to action Tuesday at Gannon while the men’s team is idle until Jan. 8 when coach Will Ryan’s surprising Cards travel to Glenville State.
In the lidlifter, the Lady Cardinals battled on nearly even terms in the first quarter, trailing just 15-13. The second period proved to be Wheeling’s undoing as the Golden Eagles outpointed the hosts 13-2 to take a 28-15 halftime advantage. Charleston broke matters completely open with a 23-10 surge in the third frame.
Dakota Reeves sparked the visitors with an impressive long-range shooting performance. Reeves drained 10 of 13 shots from beyond the arc en route to a 30-point effort. Anna Hayton was next in line with 16 tallies.
Sophomore Lilly Ritz continues to impress for Wheeling. The former Cambridge High all-Ohioan tossed in 20 points while grabbing 14 rebounds.
Senior guard Taliah Cashwell produced 13 points for the Cardinals.
Charleston had a 52-33 rebounding advantage.
Wheeling shot just 31 percent from the floor (19-of-61) while committing 14 turnovers.
Charleston won for the ninth time in 11 starts while improving to 6-1 in the MEC.
In the nightcap, Charleston jumped out to a 10-0 lead and never looked back. The Golden Eagles, coming off an upset win over West Liberty just three days prior, methodically pulled away in the first half, building a 47-29 halftime advantage.
The visitors nursed a 20-point advantage for most of the second half before Wheeling mounted a comeback. The Cardinals cut the margin to 67-56 with just over eight minutes to play via a 12-0 run, ignited by a Zach Collins trey and capped by a Jordan Reid hoop.
Charleston, however, regrouped on the strength of three successive treys from Garrett Denbow to regain the momentum.
“We lost to a real good team. They got off to a hot start and built a nice cushion,” Ryan said. “But are guys battled back and never quit. We missed some key free throws in our run that could have made matters more interesting.
“But I am pleased with the fight our guys showed. They made a good run. We have six wins. I don’t think many people thought that would happen at this point. So are expectations are rising.”
Charleston exhibited ideal offensive balance as seven Eagles reached double figures. Savvy junior guard Seth O’Neal led the way with 17 counters.
Reid paced Wheeling University with 22 points. Jarett Haines and John Korte chipped in 12 points each.
West Liberty 112, W.Va. State 84
WEST LIBRERTY — The No. 22-ranked West Liberty University men’s basketball team fired off a 20-2 barrage over a 3-minute span of the first half and never looked back in blasting West Virginia State.
Pat Robinson drained five 3-pointers as part of his 24-point night while Dalton Bolon finished with a double-double of 21 points and 11 rebounds. Will Yoakum added 20 points, Boswell finished with 17 and Malik McKinney contributed 14 more off the bench.
W.Va. State 87, West Liberty 80
WEST LIBERTY — The West Virginia State women’s basketball team reeled off a 12-2 run in the final two minutes to hand West Liberty a setback.
Morgan Brunner and Johnson paced the West Liberty attack with 19 and 17 points, respectively. Tingle added 10 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists before fouling out with 1:33 remaining.