Head coach Kristin Kunzman’s UVa-Wise Cavalier women’s basketball team was coming off of a 81-68 win over Shepherd University in which snapped a six game losing streak when they faced off against Fairmont State Saturday afternoon.
The Cavs were hoping to use the momentum gained in the win to send out lone senior on the team Reynesha Archer with a win in her last game in the Prior Center.
A sluggish second half by Cavs ruined their hopes as they dropped a 71-57 decision to the visiting Fighting Falcons.
The Cavs were rolling in the first half when a sophomore Makenzie Cluesman steal led to a layup by freshman Taylor Sandidge to give the Cavs a 29-20 lead with 3:43 left to play in the first half.
That nine-point lead was short-lived as the Fighting Falcons fought back and cut the lead to two on a Makenzie White jumper as the horn sounded at halftime.
At halftime the Cavs controlled a 34-32 lead as the Fighting Falcons seemed to carry all the momentum into the locker room.
Archer led the Cavs with 10 points at halftime in only nine minutes of action. The Fighting Falcons were led by Emily Puskarich with 12 points coming on four three-pointers.
The Fighting Falcons carried their first half momentum over into the second half as they opened up the second half on a 18-6 run. The run seemed to crush all hopes of the Cavs as they trailed by as many as 23 in the second half.
“We were a different team coming out in the second half,” Kunzman said. “We were intense in the first half and taking possessions off aren’t going to cut it.”
The Cavs would cut into that deficit as they dropped a 71-56 decision to the Fighting Falcons. Archer led the Cavs with a game-high 18 points in only 21 minutes of action on her senior day that didn’t go the way she planned.
“In the first half we came out ready to play, but the second half wasn’t the same,” Archer said. “It seemed like all five were never on the same page.”
Junior Katie Jo Lester paced the Cavs with 12 points, freshman Kayla Carey finished with 11 points and Sandidge with 10 points. Cluesman grabbed 11 rebounds and collected six steals in the contest.
The Fighting Falcons were led by Hailey Garrett and Puskarich with 16 points each.
With the loss the Cavs fall to 9-15 and 5-15 in Mountain East play. The Fighting Falcons improved to 15-8 and 13-7 in MEC play.
The Cavs will be back in action this Saturday in the regular season finale when they travel to Concord University for a 2 p.m. tip-off.