Cavs Stay Perfect at Home by Downing Fairmont State

WISE – – Makenzie Cluesman scored 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds while Kayla Carey scored a team-high 20 points as UVa-Wise claimed a 62-54 Mountain East Conference victory over Fairmont State University at the Prior Center Wednesday.
UVa-Wise (9-4, 4-1 MEC) got off to a fast start behind the strong play of Carey. The senior forward scored seven points in the opening quarter to boost an offense that shot 52.9 percent from the field in the opening 10 minutes.
Fairmont State (5-6, 2-3 MEC) kept pace behind 11 first quarter points from Emily Puskarich. The guard made a trio of 3-pointers in the period as the two teams went to the second period knotted at 20.
Kristin Kunzman’s Cavaliers took control of the game in the second quarter behind a strong defensive effort. UVa-Wise forced five Fairmont State turnovers in the stanza and turned the miscues into 11 points. The Falcons made just two field goals in the period as the team shot just 14.3 percent in falling behind 36-27 after two quarters.
The strong defensive effort continued to the third quarter as Fairmont State made just four of 13 shots in a 12-point quarter. By shutting down the Falcons’ offense, the Cavs were able to push the lead to 52-39 going to the fourth quarter.
UVa-Wise would push the lead to as many as 17 points at 58-41 with 5:46 to play on a 3-pointer by Kayla Mullins.
From that point, Fairmont State made a final push to get back in the game. A 13-3 run would make the score 61-54 but only 39 seconds remained in the contest.
Kunzman’s squad would be able to run out the clock and claim their fifth consecutive home win to start the season.
The Cavs dominated the glass, winning the battle of the boards 38-26. Overall, UVa-Wise scored 34 points in the paint.
The 20-point performance by Carey marked the fourth time this season the former Hardin Valley standout has scored 20 or more points.
Alle Moore also finished in double figure scoring for UVa-Wise. The sophomore chipped in 10 points on 4-7 shooting.
Deidra Combs led Fairmont State with a game-high 22 points to join Puskarich in double figuring scoring.
UVa-Wise limited the Falcons’ leading scorer Makenzie White to nine points on 4-12 shooting while forcing the guard to commit seven turnovers.
For the game, Fairmont State shot 35.8 points and finished 16 points off their season scoring average of 54 points.
With the win, UVa-Wise remains in a second place tie and one game back of conference leading Wheeling Jesuit.
The Cavs are back in action Thursday when Shepherd University visits the Prior Center in a 2 p.m. tip.

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