Nicole Gilyard scores 24 for Wesleyan but Lady ‘Cats fall to Wheeling, 67-58


BUCKHANNON – Nicole Gilyard scored a game-high 24 points for the West Virginia Wesleyan Lady Bobcats in their MEC home outing with Wheeling Saturday, but it wasn’t enough as Wesleyan dropped a 67-58 decision.

Gilyard had little help from the rest of her team in the loss as she was most of the Wesleyan offense.

The senior forward had 11 field goals while the rest of the team combined for just 10 and she was the only Lady Bobcat player to reach double digits.

Despite the struggles on offense, Wesleyan held a 10-point lead midway through the third quarter but was unable to hold onto the lead in the fourth quarter.

Gilyard started the contest hot as a pair of early jumpers staked Wesleyan to a quick 7-4 advantage.

With the game tied at 7-7, a jumper in the paint by Gilyard gave the lead back to Wesleyan, at 9-7, with 5:38 left in the opening quarter.

Wheeling outscored Wesleyan by a 10-3 margin the rest of the quarter for a 17-12 advantage after 10 minutes of action.

The Wesleyan defense stepped up big in the second quarter forcing eight Wheeling turnovers as they limited the Cardinals to just six points.

With Wheeling still leading 21-18 with five minutes remaining in the half, Wesleyan closed on a 10-2 run taking a 28-23 lead into the break.

A lay-up by Ceirra Tolbert gave Wesleyan their 10-point lead, at 37-27, with 6:56 left in the third quarter.

Wheeling got the lead down to one following a lay-up by Maura Castelluci at the two-minute mark, but Tolbert made a free throw to close the quarter keeping Wesleyan ahead by two, at 41-39, heading into the final 10 minutes of action.

Wheeling caught fire on the offensive side in the fourth quarter with a 28-point output shooting 75 percent from the floor and 80 percent from beyond the three-point line.

Gilyard had a pair of baskets sandwiched between a Wheeling three-pointer as Wesleyan held a 45-42 lead.

Gilyard had a lay-up to keep Wesleyan ahead by two, at 49-47, with 6:45 left but it was the last lead Wesleyan would hold.

With the game tied at 52-52, Wheeling scored six unanswered for a 58-52 lead with 3:43 remaining.

Wheeling followed that with an 8-2 run for a 66-54 lead with 1:51 remaining.

Wesleyan couldn’t get any closer than nine points the rest of the way.

Wesleyan shot just 33.3 percent for the game making 21 of their 63 attempts.

Following Gilyard in the scoring column was Abi Gabauer with eight points.

Tolbert added seven points and a game-high 15 rebounds.

Wheeling made good on 26 of their 58 attempts for 44.8 percent.

They were led Lilly Ritz who scored 17 points and Castelluci who tallied 13.

Wheeling improved to 2-5 overall and won their first conference game going to 1-3.

Wesleyan dropped to 3-5 overall and 1-3 in the conference.

The Lady Bobcats will return to the court Wednesday when they host Urbana at 5:30 p.m. in a league contest.

The boxscore:

Wheeling                    17  6  16  28 – 67

W. Va. Wesleyan        12  16  13  17 – 58

Wheeling 67

Lilly Ritz 6-12 5-5 17; Maura Castelluci 5-9 0-0 13; Lauren Lipscomb 4-5 1-4 10; Taliah Cashwell 2-11 3-4 8; Jillian Hawks 3-8 0-0 7; Emily Holzopfel 2-5 0-0 4; Alysa Edwards-Frick 2-4 0-0 4; Lauren Calhoun 1-2 0-1 2; Jacqui Hinesmon 1-1 0-0 2; Kelsi Chapman 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 26-58 9-13 67.

West Virginia Wesleyan 58

Nicole Gilyard 11-21 2-4 24; Abi Gabauer 4-8 0-0 8; Cierra Tolbert 2-9 3-6 7; Brittany Sawovy 2-12 0-0 6; Malaika Kimmons 2-6 2-4 6; Imani Jackson 0-0 4-4 4; Courtney Wilfong 1-4 1-5 3; Amira Layeni 0-1 0-0 0; Cydney Lapczysnki 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 21-63 12-23 58.

Three-point field goals – Wheeling: Castelluci 3-5; Lipscomb 1-2; Cashwell 1-3; Hawks 1-3; Ritz 0-1; Holzopfel 0-1; Chapman 0-1. Totals 6-16; West Virginia Wesleyan: Gabauer 2-6; Stawovy 2-11; Wilfong 0-2. Totals 4-19.

Rebounds – Wheeling: Ritz 8; Calhoun 7; Cashwell 3; Edwards-Flick 3; Hinesmon 3; Hawks 2; Holzopfel 2; Castelluci 1; Chapman 1, team 1. Totals 35; West Virginia Wesleyan: Tolbert 15; Kimmons 5; Gabauer 4; Jackson 3; Gilyard 2; Stawovy 2; Tolbert 2; Layeni 1; Lapczynski 1. Totals 36.

Assists – Wheeling: Cashwell 5; Castelluci 2. Totals 7; West Virginia Wesleyan: Stawovy 4; Gilyard 3; Wilfong 2; Gabauer 1; Kimmons 1; Layeni 1; Lapczysnki 1. Totals 13.

Steals – Wheeling: Hawks 2; Castelluci 2; Ritz 1; Cashwell 1; Calhoun 1. Totals 7; West Virginia Wesleyan: Gabauer 3; Wilfong 3; Tolbert 2; Gilyard 1; Stawovy 1;  Jackson 1. Totals 11.

Blocked shots – Wheeling: Ritz 2; Cashwell 1; Hawks 1; Hinesmon 1. Totals 5; West Virginia Wesleyan: Tolbert 2; Gilyard 1; Gabauer 1. Total 4.

Turnovers – Wheeling: 16; West Virginia Wesleyan: 12.

Personal fouls – Wheeling: 23; West Virginia Wesleyan: 11.

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