Wheeling, W. Va. – Wheeling University’s women’s basketball team (3-1, 1-1) is on a roll to start the 2022-23 season, having its best start since going 3-1 in the first four games of the COVID-shortened 2020 season- 21. On Wednesday, the Cardinals will look to build on their success by playing Mountain East Conference (MEC) foe Davis & Elkins, with the kickoff scheduled for 5:30 pm. After a few days off with the Thanksgiving break, the Cardinals are hoping to end November on a high note as they gear up for the heart of the MEC game.
Last time out, the Cardinals put on their best offensive game as they defeated Alderson Broaddus 91-66 for their first MEC win of the season. The Cardinals got fire on both sides of the ball, outscoring the Battlers 21–8 in the first 10 minutes of the game. Things evened out a bit in the second as the Cardinals were down 17–13 but still went into halftime leading 34–21. They closed the deal with their best offensive quarter of the season in the third with 28 points and beat that total with 29 more points in the fourth to close out the offense. It was the team’s first 90-point drive since adding 95 against West Virginia State on December 8, 2021, when it clinched its first conference win of the season.
Senior Lauren Calhoun continues to lead the way for the Cardinals and put together their best offensive game of the season. Although she did not achieve her fourth double-double of the season, Calhoun scored a season-high 26 points while shooting 66% (10-15) from the floor. It was Calhoun’s best shooting game of the season and kept his streak alive above 50% in each of his first four games of the season. Calhoun continues his road to 1000 career points and enters Wednesday’s game needing 235 points to reach the milestone. She is averaging a season-best 21.5 points per game this year and is on track to become the 29th player in program history to reach the milestone.
Another rising young star for the Cardinals this season was rookie Kenzie Dalton, who finished with eight points, six rebounds and six assists against Alderson Broaddus. Dalton currently leads the MEC in assists per game at 5.5 while ranking second in the conference with 22 assists in four games played. It was the second time this season that Dalton flirted with a triple-double as he helped spearhead this cardinal’s offense. Wheeling comes into the game with two players averaging double-digit points per game as Shanley Woods remains a three-point sharpshooter. She currently ranks fourth in the conference at 34.5% from beyond the arc and is averaging 10.8 points per game going into the game Wednesday.
Last Tuesday’s win was a big one for the Cardinals as it helped them climb into the top half of the MEC standings. The conference is tight from top to bottom, with only Fairmont State, West Liberty and Charleston remaining undefeated after two games. Wheeling is currently in a six-way tie for fourth in the conference, with one of those teams being their Wednesday night opponents at Davis & Elkins. With the MEC now playing at full strength, each night offers a new challenge for the Cardinals as they try to claim a top 10 berth and make a return trip to the 2023 MEC Women’s Basketball Championship tournament.
The Cardinals and Senators will meet for the 22nd time in program history on Wednesday, with the Cardinals leading the series at 15-6. Much of their success has come at home, where they are 9–4 against Davis & Elkins compared to 5–2 in road competition. However, the Senators have come to life as of late, winning two of the last three meetings between the two teams. In their most recent meeting, Davis & Elkins scored a victory in Wheeling on January 29, 2022, 62-53.
In this game, Lauren Calhoun set a career-high in points with 28 and added a team-best 17 rebounds on defense. Shamia Strayhorn added 18 points for the day, as the duo added 46 of the team’s 53 points for the game. Strayhorn and Taylor Cullen led the passing game, as they each finished with three assists for the day.
Kickoff for Wednesday night’s game is scheduled for 5:30 pm inside the Alma Grace McDonough Center. You can watch the game live by clicking on HERE or follow Live Stats by clicking on HERE🇧🇷