February 11, 2015

Wolverines hold off late Chatham run

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- The Grove City College women's basketball team held off a second-half Chatham run to earn a 61-53 victory over the Cougars in the Grove City College Arena on Wednesday evening.

Junior forward Kathryn Erbelding (Rochester, N.Y./Greece Olympia) scored a game-high 13 points to lead the Wolverines (10-12, 8-7 PAC) while senior forward Cayley McClean (Airville, Pa./Kennard-Dale) posted a double-double with 12 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

Senior guard Kelsey Shirey (Macedonia, Ohio/Nordonia) added 12 points for the Wolverines and hit key free throws down the stretch to preserve the win.

Chatham (5-17, 2-13) scored the game's first basket, but the Wolverines answered with an 8-0 run that included three layups to take an early 8-2 lead and force a Chatham timeout with 16:47 remaining. Grove City would lead by as much as 14 in the half, as a fastbreak layup by sophomore guard Jackie Stewart (Pittsburgh, Pa./Chartiers Valley) gave the Wolverines a 31-17 advantage with just 3:23 left in the period. The Cougars would not be deterred, clawing back with a 12-4 run to close the half and cut Grove City's lead to just 35-29 at the break.

Erbelding and McClean each scored 10 first-half points to lead the Wolverines with McClean adding six rebounds. Rachel McClain matched Grove City's duo with 10 of her own to lead the Cougars.

The Wolverines scored six quick points to open the second half to push Grove City's lead back to 12, but Chatham threes from Jess Manfredia and Dana Eastman quickly cut the lead back to six at 41-35 with 15:35 remaining. After Eastman followed a pair of free throws by junior Natalija Galens (Covert, Mich./Grace Christian) with another three, Shirey answered with a triple of her own to spark a 9-0 Grove City run and give the Wolverines their largest lead of the night at 52-38 with 9:25 remaining.

Chatham would fight back once again with a 13-2 run to cut the lead to three as Grove City went more than nine and a half minutes without a field goal. Shirey, however, hit a big jumper to put the Wolverines back up by six with 50 seconds left and then hit three of four from the line in the final minute to seal the deal.

McClain led a balanced Cougar attack with 13 points while Eastman added 12 on four threes. Emily Schmidt and Megan Sieg scored 10 points each.

The Wolverines shot 37 percent (23-63) from the floor and hit the 13 of 17 free throws in the win. Grove City also held a 47-34 rebounding advantage.

Grove City returns to action on Saturday, hosting Saint Vincent at 1 p.m. as part of the College's Athletic Hall of Fame festivities. In addition, the Wolverines will honor their three seniors - McClean, Brandy Nickoloff (Pittsburgh, Pa./Saint Joseph) and Shirey- prior to the start of the game.

Box Score

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