Apke Named MVP; W&J Wins Behrend Tournament
ERIE, Pa. -- Junior Chelsea Apke (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon) made a strong impression during her debut weekend for the Washington & Jefferson College women’s basketball team after being selected as the Penn State-Behrend Tournament MVP and leading the Presidents to a 63-62 victory over the host Lions on Sunday afternoon at the Junker Center.
The Presidents (2-0) received a second-straight double-double from Apke, who bucketed 18 points and added 11 rebounds. Freshman forward Beka Bellhy (McDonald, Pa./Fort Cherry) was also chosen to the All-Tournament Team after contributing 17 points, 10 rebounds and two assists. Nine of Bellhy’s rebounds were on the offensive glass.
W&J closed the half on a 13-5 run to take a 35-27 lead into the break. Apke made four free throws during the run which sophomore guard Erin Lavery (Pittsburgh, Pa./Oakland Catholic) capped on a jumper 17 seconds before halftime.
Bellhy’s layup a minute into the second half pushed the lead to 10, but the Lions roared back with a 16-4 rally to claim a 49-47 advantage with 13:20 left.
Washington & Jefferson took control of the game by limiting the Lions to two field goals and six total points in the final 11 minutes and 10 seconds. Penn State-Behrend was held without a made basket for a stretch of 8:11 and the Presidents were able to go ahead by seven (63-56) after Bellhy’s bucket with 4:44 left.
The Lions kept fighting and actually had a chance to win the game, but Ally Burke’s desperation shot at the buzzer missed.
Apke sank all 10 of her free throws and added five steals, while Bellhy made 8-of-20 shots from the floor. Junior guard Alex Bernardi (East China, Mich./St. Clair) swished all three of her three-point attempts to finish with nine points.
W&J shot 38 percent overall (23-of-61) and forced 24 turnovers. Penn State-Behrend was led by Julia Myers’ 15 points and 13 rebounds.
The Presidents hope to make it a 3-0 start to the year on Tuesday when opening their home schedule against longtime rival Allegheny at 7:00 pm.