January 18, 2014

Wolverines hold off late Thiel charge

GREENVILLE, Pa. -- The Grove City College women's basketball survived a cold-shooting second half and a late Thiel run to earn a 65-55 Presidents' Athletic Conference road victory over the Tomcats on Saturday afternoon in Beeghly Gymnasium.

Senior Hannah Jo Coneby (Maple Shade, N.J./Baptist) and juniors Kelsey Shirey (Macedonia, Ohio/Nordonia) and Cayley McClean (Airville, Pa./Kennard-Dale) each scored 13 points as part of a balanced Wolverine offensive attack.

Thiel (3-11, 2-6 PAC) jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead on buckets by Jaclyn Watkins and Taylor Ketler but the Wolverines (4-10, 3-5) would battle back to tie the score at six. After Hannah Stoneman put the Tomcats back on top, Grove City used a 14-2 run to take a 20-10 lead, capped by a Shirey three with 7:47 remaining in the half.

The Tomcats closed the gap to 22-16 on a pair of Watkins free throws with 3:27 to play, but a McClean jumper with 20 seconds remaining would cap a 12-5 run to close the half and give the Wolverines a 34-21 halftime advantage.

Coneby led the Wolverines with seven points and six rebounds in the first half. Grove City held Thiel to just 27 percent shooting over the first 20 minutes.

Grove City extended their lead to 15 early in the second half, but Thiel would close the gap to 40-32 on a Laken Shields jumper with 15:20 to play. The Wolverines countered with a 13-3 run of their own to take their biggest lead of the game at 53-35 with 8:18 remaining.

The Tomcats would make one final surge, drawing as close as eight points at 60-52 with 1:03 left in regulation. Despite making just one field goal over the final 8:18, the Wolverines connect on 10 of 12 free throw attempts to hold on for the important conference road win.

Watkins led the Tomcats with game-highs of 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Coneby and Shirey each grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Wolverine while senior Annie Wells (Waterville, Vt./Lamoille) had a strong defensive effort with four steals and three blocks. Grove City outrebounded Thiel 44-35 and committed a season-low 13 turnovers.

The Wolverines return to action on Wednesday, hosting Westminster in PAC action at 5:30 p.m.

Box Score

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