Wheelchair basketball takes 3 of 4 in tournament at University of Illinois

Category:  Sports
Wednesday, February 14th, 2018 at 6:51 PM

Edinboro’s wheelchair basketball team won three of their four games in a tournament hosted by the University of Illinois on Friday and Saturday.

The Fighting Scots opened up the tournament by playing the host team, University of Illinois. The two battled in a very close game, with Edinboro trailing at halftime, 21-19. 

Both teams would hold the lead at various points in the second half, though Edinboro would eventually pull ahead with a basket by Chayse Wolf. Wolf would add another 3 points, putting Boro up further, before Illinois tied the game at 43-43 with less than 30 seconds left. Alex Saleh would score the final basket with 6 seconds left, giving Edinboro the win with a final score of 45-43. 

Saleh would continue his hot streak, putting up the first basket of the team’s next game, where they squared off against Auburn University. The Fighting Scots would put up 10 straight before the Tigers could score. Edinboro continued to dominate the scoreboard, up 33-19 at the half. 

The Fighting Scots further took command in the second half, never allowing Auburn to get closer than 14 points. They would take the win, 56-35, led by freshmen Zadorian Lane and Wolf, who each scored 12 points in the contest.

On Saturday, Edinboro struggled to put up points in their first game against the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The Fighting Scots’ first point came from a Saleh free throw, but they were down 15-3 early on. 

The Mavericks continued to dominate the scoring and led at the end of the first half, 35-17. Edinboro would play better defense in the second half, but they could not overcome the previous deficit, falling 59-36.

Mirroring their opening contest against Illinois, Edinboro once again had a very close game in their final match of the tournament against the University of Missouri. 

While Edinboro scored first, the two teams would trade baskets for most of the first half, with Missouri leading 35-27 going into the second. Missouri held the lead for the majority of the second half until an Ayuba basket put Edinboro in the lead, 52-49, with 4 minutes left to play. 

A Missouri basket would give them the lead once again with 3 minutes left, but Edinboro put up two baskets courtesy of Kevin Atherley and Saleh to hold onto the win, even after two good free throws for Missouri. 

Edinboro held on for the last minute of the game to pull off the victory, 55-54. 

With the three wins, Edinboro’s record improved to 14-13. They head off for another tournament, this one in Cleveland, Ohio, on Sunday.

Erica Burkholder can be reached at sports.spectator@gmail.com.

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