WHEELING — Wheeling University coach Chris Richardson knew that to defeat Concord University, his Cardinals would have to show some toughness on Wednesday night.
Although the toughness couldn’t be seen in the box score, Wheeling outshot Concord 38-30, blocked four shots and outshot the Mountain Lions in the paint 30-26 en route to an impressive 82-80 victory at inside the Alma Grace McDonough Center.
Mental strength also played a role. After the team started the second half 4 for 10 from the free throw line, senior guard Jarett Haines calmly crossed the charity tape and made two game-winning free throws with 3 seconds remaining to put the Cardinals on. ahead for good. .
“I trust our guys, especially a senior like Jarett Haines,” Richardson said. “If you could see the growth of this kid from two years ago to now – he’s our guy. We’ve been one of the best free-throw shooting teams in the Mountain East Conference pretty much all season. We didn’t shoot the ball well (Wednesday) from the free throw line in 40 minutes, but we hit the ones we needed with 3 seconds remaining.
Haines paced the Cards with 28 points, while John Korte had 16 points and eight rebounds, Wheeling Central alum Brent Price had 15 points and nine rebounds and Andrew Taylor recorded a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
“I just thought the effort games were there,” Richardson said. “The loose balls, the rebounds – Andrew Taylor and Brent Price were monsters on the glass. John Korte was really good on the glass. It was an emotional and hard-fought game and we showed composure throughout the streak and that’s a big part of why we won.
A Korte layup with 6:46 to play gave Wheeling a 72-64 advantage.
However, the Mountain Lions scored 10 straight points to take a narrow lead at 74-72 with 3:47 remaining.
Korte then provided another crucial 3-point shot to give the Cards a 79-76 advantage with 2:18 to go, but the teams continued to trade buckets until Haines broke an 80-80 stalemate with 3 seconds to play.
Neither team took a big lead in the first half until a bucket from Taylor gave Wheeling a 42-36 halftime advantage.
“To beat Concord you have to be really tough,” Richardson said. “They pride themselves on their tenacity. We told our guys we had to be the toughest team on the field for 40 minutes and I really thought we were. Individually we had a tough time and the team’s collective tenacity won us the game.
“We didn’t have Jordan Reid – he hurt his ankle in training and it’s day to day, but we have a group of guys who believe in the next man and we saw him (Wednesday ). I’m really proud of the guys.
University of Wheeling 77, Concord 72
WHEELING — Wheeling Park alum Shanley Woods had a night to remember scoring a career-high 31 points to lead Wheeling University past Concord.
Woods shot 13 of 14 from the free throw line and drained four 3-pointers in the process.
Jacqui Hinesmon also had 12 goals for the Cardinals.