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Cluesman's Cavs top Coker despite injury to Webb

Kevin Mays • Jan 18, 2020 at 8:29 PM

WISE— An injury-plagued Virginia-Wise women’s basketball team used a fourth-quarter rally Saturday to stop a three-game South Atlantic Conference skid.

The Cavaliers (8-8, 4-6) — playing without their team leader — outscored Coker 26-10 in the fourth to pull away to a 73-59 win at the Prior Convocation Center.

The Cavs’ second win in their past seven outings came with senior Cynita Webb on the bench with a knee injury.

UVA Wise entered the day with four players sidelined by various injuries and only eight players in uniform.

Webb injured her knee early in the game but returned a few minutes later. After contact under the basket with just a little over 3:30 left in the third quarter, Webb went to the bench and did not return.

“She’s been a leader for us all year,” Cavs coach Jamie Cluesman said. “She’s very, very tough mentally and physically. When she was out there, she gave us everything she had. I didn’t think it was in her best interest to keep her out there, so that’s why we pulled her.”

Led by Nia Vanzant’s 21 points and 10 rebounds, along with Kaylee Johnson’s 13 points and Caitlyn Ross’ 12, the Cavs kept things close through the first three quarters. Coker (4-10, 1-9) led 49-47 heading into the fourth.

The score stayed tight until back-to-back 3-pointers by Vanzant and Hanna Oliver put UVA Wise up 62-57, and the Cavs outscored the Cobras 11-2 the rest of the way.

“It feels good to get a win again,” Cluesman said. “We’ve been through the ringer. With injuries, and we’re not going to get into all that, but it seems like everything is against us right now. But we continue to believe in each other and I think that paid off today.

“I think we played extremely well as a team.”

Janell Horton led Coker with 15 points and Erin Houser had 13 points and 19 rebounds.

COKER MEN TAKE ROAD WIN

UVA Wise’s women are not the only team battling injuries. The men’s squad dressed only eight players for Saturday’s game — among them Buster Henderson — in an 81-77 loss to Coker (4-10, 3-7).

Henderson, a senior who recorded 43 tackles for the football team in the fall, put on a UVA Wise basketball uniform for the first time in his collegiate career. Though he played less than a minute, he provided the Cavs (5-11, 1-9) with a healthy eighth man.

Coker’s Malcom Kennedy led all scorers with 30 points. Chandler Lindsey finished with 19 and Royce Hunter had 15.

UVA Wise got 21 points and 16 rebounds from Cameron Whiteside, 16 points from Briggs Parris, 12 points from Izeah Parker and 10 from Chance Sheffey.

UP NEXT

UVA Wise continues SAC play Wednesday at Carson-Newman.

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