Wheeling Jesuit turned the tables with a late 10-0 run and held off the West Liberty women at the foul line Thursday night to come from behind for an 82-76 win at the ASRC.
Coach Lynn Ullom’s Hilltoppers (11-6, 8-3) were whistled for a season-high 31 personal fouls and had four players foul out down the stretch as the Cardinals (9-5, 6-4) snapped a 16-game losing streak in the series dating back over eight seasons.
West Liberty held a 64-60 lead following a Hillary Southworth free throw with 5:03 remaining but the Hilltoppers didn’t score again until less than 90 seconds remained on the scoreboard clock.
During that span, Wheeling Jesuit reeled off 10 unanswered points with a pair of Breanna Butler free throws capping the surge and putting the visitors up, 70-64, with 1:33 to play.
Kailee Howe stopped the bleeding for WLU with a turnaround jumper in the lane but the Cardinals beat the Hilltopper press and Jaana Motton cashed in a layup to make it 72-66 at the 1:12 mark.
West Liberty was forced to foul to stop the clock after a miss at the other end and Wheeling Jesuit closed out the win by going 10-for-10 from the foul line over the final 1:01.
“Give Wheeling Jesuit credit,” Ullom said. “They were the more disciplined team tonight. They played smarter, they played harder and they were better coached. They deserved to win the game.”
The Hilltoppers hit 15 3-pointers on the night and had a 27-24 overall edge in total field goals but this game was decided at the charity stripe where Jesuit knocked down 31-of-43 foul tosses to just 7-of-16 for the hosts.
Jaila Bryant went 14-for-22 from the line and scored a game-high 22 points to pace the Cardinals while Butler – 10-for-10 from the stripe – added 21 points. Mariah Callen and Motton rounded out WJU’s double-figure scorers with 15 and 10 points, respectively.
Howe led West Liberty with 20 points and 11 assists while Liz Flowers and Jenn Mohney chipped in with 15 and 14 points, respectively, before fouling out. Kiki Simpson had 6 points and 10 rebounds despite missing most of the first half due to foul trouble.
The Hilltoppers will be back in action Saturday afternoon when they host Urbana in a 2 p.m. game at the ASRC.