Wheeling, W. Va. – With just over a month to go before the start of the 2022-23 season, things are starting to heat up at Wheeling University with the start of fall sports upon us. All 19 of Wheeling’s varsity sports will have their eyes on a playoff spot as they continue to grow and develop through their specific seasons. At the end of the 2021-22 season, one team that was looking to make a run with a veteran roster was the Wheeling University Men’s Basketball team. It came down to the final week of the regular season and an exciting game against Alderson Broaddus for them to seal their fate in the tournament. In today’s Saturday Game Rewind, we look back at a thrilling victory as Wheeling held off a surging Alderson Broaddus team to punch their ticket to WesBanco arena.
February 23rd, 2022: Wheeling 85, Alderson Broaddus 82
Heading into the final week of the 2021-2022 regular season, there was still a lot to be determined as teams prepared for the 2022 Mountain East Conference (MEC) playoffs. The Cardinals did not yet know where they would stand and could have ended up anywhere from the #10 seed to the #7 seed in the field. The Cardinals had dropped each of their last three games against Glenville State, Fairmont State, and Frostburg State and were looking to gain momentum on their side in the final week of the regular season. The battle for the seventh seed in the tournament was officially on and a win would put Wheeling in a good position to grab that #7 seed.
After primarily coming off the bench for a majority of the season, senior Brent Price got the start and got Wheeling going with a three-pointer to start the game. It may have seemed like just an opening shot at the time, but that opening basket would end up deciding the game when all was said and done. John Korte, Jay Gentryand Jarett Haines each added baskets during the opening run and Wheeling was in the driver’s seat ahead 11-7 three minutes into the game. This game would be almost even the entire way throughout and the first 10 minutes were no exception. Alderson Broaddus battled back to tie the game at 11-11 and Wheeling would take the lead, but Alderson Broaddus fought back two more times and the teams were deadlocked at 21-21 with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
As the first half winded down, the two teams kept jockeying for position as the score changed hands five times over the final 10 minutes of play. Wheeling hit a jumper courtesy of jordan reid to take a 23-21 lead, but Alderson Broaddus scored three straight to make it a 24-23 Battler advantage. They held that lead for a few short minutes before a free throw and a layup by Haines made it 26-24 Cardinals. The Battlers took the lead one more time and with 3:40 left in the half the Cardinals had managed to make it a 34-34 game. A 4-0 run courtesy of Reid made it 38-34 and that was enough for the Cardinals to hold off the battlers. Wheeling went into halftime up 42-39 but knew there was still a long fight ahead of them if they wanted to come out on top.
As the second half began, Wheeling saw their lead quickly evaporate as the Battlers tacked on five straight to start and took a 44-42 lead. Wheeling would tie the game courtesy of a layup by Reid, but another 5-0 Battler run had Wheeling down 49-44 with 16:09 to play. It was time for a Cardinal comeback and Wheeling responded by putting together their biggest run of the day, a 9-2 swing that got them back out in front 53-51. The Cardinals would keep the momentum going with their best offensive stretch of the game, adding a 10-2 run and with 10 minutes to go they had flushed out their lead to 61-55. However, the Battlers would not go away, and Wheeling would have to go point for point with them over the final 10 minutes.
The Cardinals led by at least seven points up until the 7:38 mark of the half and continued to hold the lead as the clock ticked past the five-minute mark at 71-63. A three-pointer by Haines pushed the Cardinals advantage to 76-66 and they still led by nine with 1:47 left on the clock. However, the Battlers went on an 8-2 run that almost overtook the Cardinals and brought the score to 82-79 with 14 seconds to play. However, a pair of Battler fouls brought Reid to the line, and he went 2-4 to make it an 85-79 game. The Battlers got one last second three-point shot up as time ran out, but it wasn’t enough as Wheeling held on to win 85-82 and tied with the Battlers for the #7 seed in the tournament.
The win secured the fact that Wheeling would not be the #10 seed in the tournament and the loss to West Liberty in their regular season finale assured them up as the #9 seed in the field. The Cardinals would go on to win their first-round game against Glenville State before falling in a back-and-forth game with the Hilltoppers in the semifinals. It was a big game for seniors jordan reidwho put up 34 points in the game, followed by Jarett Haines and Brent Price with 18 and 17 points, respectively. Price’s three-pointer hit at the beginning of the game ended up making the difference as Wheeling secured the victory.
We are just 40 days away from the start of the 2022-23 season, but we still have a few more Saturday Game Rewinds to go. Next week, we look back at a solid pitching performance from a senior on the Wheeling Softball team as they were able to sweep a doubleheader over Fairmont State.