February 23, 2015

Wolverines advance to quarterfinals

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- The Grove City College women's basketball team opened the 2015 Presidents' Athletic Conference Championship Tournament with a 66-46 home victory over No. 8 seed Thiel in the first round of the tournament Monday night at the Grove City College Arena. Fifth-seeded Grove City (13-13) will now face No. 4 Waynesburg in the tournament quarterfinals Wednesday night.

Senior guard Kelsey Shirey (Macedonia, Ohio/Nordonia) tied a single-game Grove City record with six three-point goals and finished the game with a game-high 22 points. Junior forward Kathryn Erbelding (Rochester, N.Y./Greece Olympia) poured in 17 points and recorded a career-high nine steals.

Grove City broke open Monday night's game with a 25-6 run over the final 11 minutes of the game. Thiel had cut Grove City's lead to 41-38 but junior forward Natalija Galens (Covert, Mich./Grace Christian) ignited the surge with a layup. Erbelding added a pair of field goals, helping the Wolverines push the lead to double figures.

Defensively, Grove City limited Thiel to just two field goals during that span.

Grove City shot 16 of 33 (49 percent) from the field in the second half. For the game, the Wolverines went 29 of 68 (43 percent). Thiel shot 46 percent (19 of 41) from the field. Grove City forced 34 turnovers and had just 15 miscues for the game.

Senior forward Cayley McClean (Airville, Pa./Kennard-Dale) pulled down a game-high eight rebounds for the Wolverines. She also had five assists. Erbelding had four assists and senior guard Brandy Nickoloff (Pittsburgh, Pa./St. Joseph) tallied three assists. Seventeen of Grove City's 32 rebounds came at the offensive end. Thiel also had 32 rebounds as a team.

Jaclyn Watkins led Thiel (5-21) with 17 points.

It is Grove City's first victory in the conference tournament since a 66-59 win at Bethany February 22, 2011. The Wolverines had not won a home tournament game since February 24, 2004, when Grove City downed Waynesburg, 61-43. The Wolverines are 3-2 all-time at home in the conference tournament.

Waynesburg received a bye into the quarterfinal round. Grove City won at Waynesburg, 65-64, December 6. Waynesburg won at Grove City, 69-64, in the January 31 rematch.

Box Score

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