Ritz lifts Cardinals past Concord in overtime, 77-72

Sports

WHEELING, W.Va. (March 4) – The Cardinals erased a 17-point second-half deficit when junior forward Lilly Ritz drained a game-tying three pointer in the final seconds of regulation in a 77-72 overtime win over Concord Thursday night in the Mountain East Conference (MEC) Tournament Quarterfinals.
 
The Wheeling University women’s basketball team (9-8) advances to the semifinal round where they will meet the University of Charleston on Saturday, March 6 at 11 a.m. inside WesBanco Arena. Meanwhile, Concord concludes the season at 9-8 overall.
 
The Cardinals trailed 60-43 with seven minutes left in regulation. Wheeling mounted the comeback and made the score 64-62 on a trey by freshman Shanley Woods with 51 seconds to play in regulation.
 
After the Mountain Lions split two free throws, Ritz received a pass behind the arc and knocked down the game-tying shot with eight seconds left on the clock. Concord had one more chance to win in regulation, but a layup rimmed out, sending the contest into overtime.
 
Concord led 70-68 with 2:17 to play in the extra session. The Cardinals answered with six-straight points to jump out to a 74-70 lead with 20 seconds remaining in overtime. The Mountain Lions only managed a Riley Fitzwater layup, while Wheeling knocked down three of four at the line to close out the come-from-behind win.
 
Ritz was sensational for Wheeling. The Cambridge native dropped 28 points and 25 rebounds with five assists, five blocked shots and three steals. Her 25 rebounds resets her own MEC Tournament single-game rebounding record. She has now set or broken the record each time she has taken the floor at WesBanco Arena.
 
Sophomore Lauren Calhoun added 14 points and eight rebounds, while Woods chipped in 12 points in the win.
 
The Cardinals got off to a good start in the game and led by as many as 11 points in the first quarter. 
 
Concord tied the game up at 25-25 with 4:33 to play until halftime and both teams traded blows before heading into the locker rooms tied at 35-35. The Mountain Lions led throughout the third quarter and pushed their lead to 53-43 by the end of the period.
 
Concord’s Riley Fitzwater led her team with 14 points and 15 rebounds with six blocked shots.
 
The Cardinals will return to WesBanco Arena for their MEC Tournament Semifinal matchup with Charleston on Saturday, March 6 at 11 a.m. 

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