DOVER, Del. - After a lackluster first quarter, things were looking grim for the Wesley College women's basketball team. Over the next 30 minutes the squad scratched and clawed to turn the tables and earn a 61-56 victory over their local Capital Athletic Conference rival Salisbury University on Wednesday night at Wentworth Gymnasium.
A big fourth quarter was the key to the Lady Wolverine's third win of the season, their second in the conference, outscoring the Sea Gulls 21-13. Junior Brionna Johnson led the way for Wolverines scoring an impressive 23 points, while grabbing 14 rebounds to post her second double-double of the new year. Sophomore Tiyanna Gibbs also chipped in with points, and Alexus Stroud added 8. Wesley also earned 19 more trips to the free line netting 18-for-24, while Salisbury shot 4-for-5 from the charity stripe.
The Wolverines came out of the gates flat, falling behind 13-5 in the opening frame. The squad rebounded in the second quarter though, keeping pace with the Sea Gulls for most of the frame. A stepback three-pointer from Alexus Stroud cut the SU lead to five points with 1:39 to play in the half, but the Sea Gulls finished the period with a 4-0 run to take a 33-24 lead into the locker room.
The Wolverines cut into the Salisbury lead in the third quarter, as the home team closed the frame on a 9-2 run. Brionna Johnson and Tiyanna Gibbs combined for 14 of the Navy and White's 16 third quarter points as the Wolverines cut the Salisbury advantage down to 43-40 entering the fourth quarter.
The Wesley team came out and dominated the fourth quarter with stifling defense. The Wolverines forced five Salisbury turnovers down thre stretch and held the Sea Gulls to just 6-for-17 shooting in the frame as the squad pulled ahead and held onto a slim lead.
Wesley's first lead of the game didn't come until 7:11 remaining in the fourth when Tiara White drilled a pair of foul shots to make it 48-47. A few possessions later Brittney Kerns found Gibbs for a huge three to give the Wolverines a four-point edge. After a steal by Alexus Stroud, Brionna Johnson netted the Wolverines next four points, keeping the team ahead of Salisbury. In the final minute of play, Wesley went 6-for-8 from the foul line and forced a pair of turnovers to seal the victory.
Wesley moves to 3-11 on the season with a 2-5 record in the CAC. The Wolverines host the Frostburg State Bobcats Saturday in another Capital Athletic Conference battle on Saturday afternoon.