January 24, 2015

Drought does in Wolverines at W&J

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- The Grove City College women's basketball team managed just one field goal over a nine-and-a-half minute span in the second half and was outscored by Washington & Jefferson 23-6 during that span as the Wolverines fell to the Presidents 78-68 in Presidents' Athletic Conference action on Saturday afternoon in the Henry Memorial Center.

Junior forward Kathryn Erbelding (Rochester, N.Y./Greece Olympia) led four Wolverines (7-10, 5-5 PAC) in double figures with 16 points and game-highs of 13 rebounds and four steals while senior guard Kelsey Shirey (Macedonia, Ohio/Nordonia) added 15 points. Senior forward Cayley McClean (Airville, Pa./Kennard-Dale) scored 12 points while junior forward Natalija Galens (Covert, Mich./Grace Christian) posted a career-high 10 points.

The Presidents (13-4, 7-3) jumped out to an early 5-0 lead, but Grove City quickly answered and took their first lead in what would prove to be a back-and-forth first half on a Shirey three that made it 8-7 Wolverines four minutes into the game. A Taylor Cortazzo three would put the W&J back on top 10-8, but Grove City would answer with six-straight points to take their largest lead of the half at 14-10.

The two teams would continue to trade the lead throughout the half. After a McClean layup put the Wolverines on top 27-25 with 5:27 remaining, the Presidents would go on an 8-0 run to take their largest advantage at 33-27 with 2:44 left.

The Wolverines would keep battling, as Shirey hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to four and Galens answered an Alexa DelGreco triple with a three-point play. Galens would make one of two at the foul line on Grove City's next possession, and following a defensive stop, sophomore guard Jackie Stewart (Pittsburgh, Pa./Chartiers Valley) made a layup with 28 seconds remaining to cut the deficit to one.

It looked as if that might be Grove City's last possession of the half, as W&J had the chance to run out the clock, but a missed jumper with 10 seconds remaining gave the Wolverines one final chance, and Shirey made the most of it, knocking down an off-balance three at the buzzer to give Grove City a 38-36 halftime advantage.

Shirey opened the second half just like she ended the first, draining a three on the Wolverines' opening possession, and Erbelding answered with a layup to give the Wolverines their largest lead of the game at 43-36 just over a minute into the period. The teams would trade baskets, with Grove City still leading 47-42 following an Erbelding layup with 16:19 remaining.

The Presidents would use a quick 6-0 spurt on three layups to retake the lead at 48-47, but sophomore guard Teresa Dallatore (Mars, Pa./Mars) would answer with a steal and a layup to retake the lead at 49-48.

That would be the last time Grove City would lead however, as the Wolverines would manage just one field goal over the next 9:49, allowing the Presidents to go on a 23-6 run to lead 71-55 with 4:04 remaining. From there, the Wolverines would chip away by playing the foul game, but W&J would hit seven of eight free throws in the final three minutes to hold on for the win.

Valerie Dunlap would lead all scorers with 25 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks for the Presidents while Cortazzo added 20 points and five assists.

For the game, Grove City shot 38 percent from the floor and committed just 11 turnovers but made just 10 of 21 free throws.

The Wolverines travel to #2 Thomas More on Wednesday for a 5:30 tip.

Box Score

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