January 23, 2016

Presidents edge Wolverines, 59-55

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- The Grove City College women's basketball team jumped out to an early lead but couldn't overcome a 21-9 Washington & Jefferson advantage in the second quarter as the Presidents edged the Wolverines 59-55 in Presidents' Athletic Conference action on Saturday afternoon in College Arena.

Senior forward Kathryn Erbelding (Rochester, N.Y./Greece Olympia) led the Wolverines (7-10, 5-5 PAC) with 12 points, nine rebounds and seven steals while sophomore Lexie Arkwright (Mercer, Pa./Mercer) and freshman Laura Buchanan (North Huntingdon, Pa./Norwin) each added 11 points.

Erbelding scored seven first-quarter points and Grove City forced the Presidents (14-3, 9-1) into eight early turnovers to jump out to a 19-11 lead after the first ten minutes. W&J, however, took advantage of key Wolverine players on the bench due to foul trouble and outscored Grove City 21-9 in the second period to lead 32-28 at the break.

The Presidents' Amirah Moore led all scorers with 10 points in the first half, while Erbelding led the Wolverines with nine at the halftime break.

W&J pushed its lead to 36-30 early in the third quarter, but Grove City got four straight points from Arkwright and an Erbelding jumper to tie the game at 36-36 with 5:32 remaining in the third, but Rachel Bellhy scored back-to-back baskets as part of a 5-0 spurt to put the Presidents back on top 41-36 and would take a 43-39 lead into the fourth.

Grove City would keep the game within four over the first part of the fourth quarter, trailing 48-44 after a jumper by junior Jackie Stewart (Pittsburgh, Pa./Chartiers Valley), but W&J reserve Alyssa Riley connected from deep on consecutive possessions to push the lead to 54-44 at the 5:04 mark.

The Wolverines responded with seven straight points, keyed by a pair of Buchanan jumpers, to close within three at 54-51 with 2:14 remaining. Grove City would get a stop on defense but came up empty on the ensuing possession. Following a pair of W&J free throws, the Wolverines got a number of good looks on their ensuing possession and grabbed three offensive rebounds but could not convert. The Presidents hit two more free throws to push their lead to 58-51 and later added another free throw to make it 59-51. Erbelding added a free throw for Grove City and Stewart hit a three with two seconds left to close the final deficit to four at 59-55.

Grove City shot just 26 percent in the second half to finish the game at 34 percent (23 of 68) while holding the Presidents to 32 percent (19 of 60) shooting. W&J out-rebounded the Wolverines 47-45 and outscored them 18-6 at the foul line.

Rachel Bellhy led the Presidents with 14 points while Amirah Moore added 12 and Danni Medovich 10.

Grove City hosts No. 1 Thomas More on Wednesday evening at 5:30.

Box Score

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