Apke Scores 28; W&J Outlasts Saint Vincent 64-59
WASHINGTON, Pa. -- Washington & Jefferson junior forward Chelsea Apke (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon) scored a game-high 28 points on 10-of-14 shooting to help the Presidents rally from a 13-point, second-half deficit and record a 64-59 PAC women’s basketball victory over Saint Vincent on Wednesday evening at the Henry Memorial Center.
Apke’s 28 points were the most by a W&J player since Amanda Stanonik ’06 netted 32 points versus Thiel on Feb. 11, 2006 (a span of 179 games). The Presidents (6-1, 3-0 PAC) snapped a five-game losing streak to the Bearcats (4-3, 2-1 PAC) and are off to their first 6-1 start since the 2009-10 season.
The lead switched hands four times during a back-and-forth first half, but SVC took a 29-28 lead into the break when Jessica Welch drilled a long three-pointer just before the buzzer.
The Bearcats appeared to take control midway through the second half as Devin McGrath fueled a 12-1 run with seven points to extend the SVC lead to 50-37 with 10:09 remaining.
McGrath’s jumper at the 7:04 mark put Saint Vincent in front 54-43; however, W&J roared back and freshman guard Ashley Mikelonis (South Park, Pa./South Park) buried a key three-pointer with 3:59 left to bring the Presidents to within 57-54.
Junior guard Kara Seamon (Morgantown, W.Va./University) made two free throws with 2:37 remaining to cut the deficit to 59-58 and freshman forward Beka Bellhy’s (McDonald, Pa./Fort Cherry) putback 35 seconds later gave W&J its first lead of the second half. W&J sank four free throws in the final 1:22 to clinch the win.
The Presidents held Saint Vincent scoreless for the final 3:48 of the game and without a field goal for the final 4:35. McGrath, who finished with 25 points, 13 rebounds, eight steals and four assists, was the only Bearcat to score a basket in the final 10:22. Saint Vincent was held to 31 percent shooting (20-of-64), including only 3-of-18 accuracy from beyond the arc.
Washington & Jefferson was victorious despite committing 30 turnovers. Apke also made 8-of-10 free throws for her career-high night. Junior guard Alexa Burzese (Sewickley, Pa./Quaker Valley) netted nine points off the bench, while sophomore center Valerie Dunlap (Hostetter, Pa./Latrobe) had seven points, 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks. Bellhy contributed seven points and six rebounds.
W&J shot 44 percent (20-of-46) and out-rebounded the Bearcats 46-31.
The Presidents travel to Kentucky on Saturday (1:00 pm) for a first-place battle with the 11th-ranked Thomas More Saints.