January 22, 2014

Cold second half costs Wolverines

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- The Grove City College women's basketball shot just 21 percent in the second half and was outscored 21 to seven at the foul line en route to a 65-55 loss to Presidents' Athletic Conference rival Westminster in the Grove City College Arena on Wednesday night.

Junior Kelsey Shirey (Macedonia, Ohio/Nordonia) led the Wolverines with 20 points and four assists while fellow junior Cayley McClean (Airville, Pa./Kennard-Dale) added nine.

Sophomore Mary McDonald (Slippery Rock, Pa./Portersville Christian) would make a layup to put Grove City (4-11, 3-6 PAC) on the board first, but Westminster (9-7, 6-3 PAC) responded with a three from Rachel Durbin and an Allison Borts jumper to take a 5-2 lead.

Sophomore Ausinette Rodriguez (Frederick, Md./Urbana) and McClean would each hit layups to put the Wolverines back on top, and McClean would then answer a Courtney Zitt jumper with a three-pointer to give Grove City a 9-7 advantage with 14:50 remaining in the half.

Neither team would score over the next four minutes, but the Wolverines would score seven-straight after the drought to extend their run to 12 points and take an 18-7 lead on a Shirey three with 8:01 to play.

Shirey would also score the next eight points for Grove City to keep the Wolverines on top 26-15 with 4:38 left in the half. Westminster would score six straight to cut the deficit to five, but Grove City would answer with seven-straight points to close the half, capped by a Shirey three with 19 seconds remaining that gave the Wolverines a 33-21 halftime advantage.

Shirey scored 18 first-half points on an efficient 7 of 8 shooting overall, including 4 of 5 from three-point range. The Wolverines shot 48 percent as a team in the first half while holding the Titans to just 24 percent shooting.

Westminster would waste no time in erasing their halftime deficit, jumping out to a quick 12-2 run as the Wolverines missed their first six shots of the half. Grove City's lead continued to toggle between two and four points as the two teams traded baskets, and the Wolverines were able to push their lead back to seven at 44-37 on a McDonald free throw with 11:17 remaining.

Grove City still led by five at 47-42 with 9:22 to play, but Westminster would go on a 16-0 run, led by 10 points from Zitt, which spanned nearly six minutes.

The Wolverines countered with one last 6-0 spurt, closing the gap within five at 58-53 on a three by senior Annie Wells (Waterville, Vt./Lamoille) with 1:31 to play, but the Titans hit 7 of 8 free throws down the stretch to wrap up the victory.

The Wolverines return to action on Saturday, traveling to #5 Thomas More for a 1 p.m. tipoff.

Box Score

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