The Cavaliers split their road trip this week with a 78-73 loss to West Liberty University on Thursday night and an 81-61 win over Wheeling Jesuit on Saturday afternoon.
After leading 36-35 at halftime on Thursday night, the Cavaliers offense stalled in the third quarter to allow West Liberty to take the lead. The Cavaliers had regained the lead with just over four minutes left in the game when they suffered a two-and-a-half-minute-long scoring drought that allowed the Hilltoppers to take the lead for good.
Junior Cynita Webb led the Cavaliers with a game-high 14 rebounds and scored 13 points for her third straight double-double and eighth of the season. Sophomore Ada Stanley provided 25 points off the bench for the second time in her last three games, while also recording eight rebounds, two assists and one block.
Against Wheeling Jesuit on Saturday, the Cavaliers trailed through almost the entire first quarter until a three-pointer from sophomore JK Cummings with 52 seconds left gave UVa-Wise the lead. The Cardinals tied the game at 21-21 halfway through the second quarter, but a jumper from redshirt sophomore Kalee Johnson gave the Cavaliers the lead for good in the 20-point victory.
Senior Quick Gomez made team history in the win, as she became the first player to record a triple-double since the University of Virginia’s College at Wise became an NCAA DII program. With 25 seconds left in the game, Gomez pulled down her 10th rebound of the game on a missed free throw to give her her first career double-double. Thirteen seconds later, Gomez completed the triple-double with a pass to Johnson for the Cavaliers’ final points of the game. Gomez’s triple-double was the 17th in NCAA DII women’s basketball this season, and the fourth from a Mountain East Conference player.
Webb led the team with 11 rebounds and two steals, while Johnson scored a career-high 16 points. Freshman Mackenzie King was second on the team with 13 points, while Stanley finished with 10 points for her fifth double-digit scoring performance in her last seven games.
The Cavaliers are now 7-9 for the season and are in a three-way tie for fifth place in the Mountain East Conference with a 5-5 record. They will start the second half of their road trip on Wednesday night when they play West Virginia State University before facing Concord University on Saturday afternoon.
The Cavaliers struggles continued this week as they lost 108-93 to West Liberty and 78-68 to Wheeling Jesuit to extend their losing streak to five games.
UVa-Wise was outscored 57-36 in the first half of the loss Thursday after shooting 40 percent from the field and 33 percent from the free throw line. The Cavaliers improved in the second half to shoot 60 percent from the field and 73 percent from the free throw line, but they were unable to overcome the first half deficit.
Freshman Briggs Parris scored a game-high 23 points for the Cavaliers while pulling down a season-high six rebounds. Junior Michal Seals finished second on the team with 17 points and six rebounds along with a game-high seven assists, while junior Eric Okenchi just missed a double-double as he ended the night with 11 points and eight rebounds.
After leading 32-31 at halftime and extending their lead to five early in the second half, the Cavaliers saw their lead gradually disappear over the first six minutes of the period. With just over 13 minutes left in the game, Wheeling Jesuit tied the game on a pair of free throws to make it a 44-44 score. UVa-Wise would tie the game several times over the remainder of the game, but they never regained the lead from that point on.
Parris and Seals tied for the team lead with 14 points, while freshman Kaeleb Carter was the Cavaliers’ only other double-digit scorer with 10 points. Okenchi led the team with eight rebounds, while junior Chance Sheffey finished with seven rebounds, seven points and a team-high four assists.
The Cavaliers are now 5-10 for the season and are in a three-way tie for eighth place in the Mountain East Conference with a 3-7 record. They will start the second half of their road trip on Wednesday when they play West Virginia State University on Wednesday night before facing Concord University on Saturday afternoon.