WISE - - For most of Saturday, it appeared as if Wheeling Jesuit University was going to pull off an upset but, UVa-Wise pulled off the largest fourth quarter comeback in school history as Jamie Cluesman's team erased a 15-point deficit to claim a 65-59 Mountain East Conference women's basketball victory at the Prior Center.
UVa-Wise (10-12, 8-8 MEC) trailed 52-37 with under 9:30 to play before the furious comeback began. Sophomore forward Ada Stanley scored 14 points down the stretch, including the bucket that put her team up for good, a basket in the paint with 1:41 to play to give the Cavs a 59-58 lead.
A possession later, Stanley scored inside off a pass from senior Ashley Cullen before Stanley put the game out of reach on a layup to make it a 63-59 game with 24 seconds to play.
While UVa-Wise closed the game with a flurry, Wheeling Jesuit (3-19, 1-15 MEC) went cold in the final 10 minutes. The Cardinals made just 3-of-10 field goals in the fourth quarter while also going 3-of-10 from the free throw line. Wheeling Jesuit also committed five of their 18 turnovers in the final stanza as the visitors lost their 16th consecutive contest.
The 3-point line also played a vital role in the Cavs' fourth quarter heroics. After starting the game 0-for-11 from distance, Cullen and sophomore JK Cummings each canned a 3-point field goal over the game's final five minutes to aid the comeback.
The Cardinals built their lead behind the play of Taliah Cashwell and Peyton McCord. The duo combined to go 7-for-8 from the floor while going a perfect 3-for-3 from the 3-point line to post 17 first half points as the team built a 30-25 halftime advantage.
Wheeling Jesuit seemingly put the game away with a third quarter scoring run. The Cardinals finished the period on a 12-2 spurt led by six points from Khira Burton to take a 49-37 lead to the final period of play.
While the play of Stanley, Cullen and Cummings pushed the Cavs across the finish line it was the play of junior forward Cynita Webb that kept the team within reach for most of the contest.
The 5-foot-11 Webb, netted 18 points and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds to record her 13th double-double of the season. Stanley finished with a game-high 23 points as the pair aided UVa-Wise to a 34-28 scoring advantage in the paint.
While the Cavs finished the game just 22-of-57 from the floor, the team made 19-of-23 free throw attempts while winning the battle of the boards 36-31. Behind eight offensive rebounds from Webb, UVa-Wise claimed 14 offensive boards.
Burton and Cashwell scored 14 points each for the Cardinals while McCord finished with 10 points in defeat.
With the win and Shepherd's loss to Urbana, Cluesman's bunch has moved into a sixth place tie in the MEC. The top six teams in the league will receive a bye in the league tournament, while team's seeded seventh through tenth will play opening round contests.
Next up, the Cavs will embark on a four-game road trip beginning Thursday at Fairmont State. Currently, the Fighting Falcons are one game behind Shepherd and UVa-Wise in the league standings.
Tip-off from Fairmont, W.Va. is set for 5:30 p.m.