Bellhy's Late Free Throws Help W&J Escape With 70-69 Win At Waynesburg
WAYNESBURG, Pa. -- Washington & Jefferson led for only 61 seconds the entire night, but still managed to pull out a 70-69 PAC men's basketball victory at Waynesburg on Wednesday at the Rudy Marisa Fieldhouse.
Senior guard Zach Bellhy (McDonald, Pa./Fort Cherry) made two free throws with eight seconds left to provide the game's final points. Waynesburg attempted a shot as time expired, but it bounced off the rim.
The Presidents (8-13, 6-6 PAC) trailed the entire first half after the Yellow Jackets (8-14, 3-9 PAC) rolled out to a 13-5 lead. The lead remained between four and seven points for nearly the rest of the half and Thomas Ellis' three-pointer 28 seconds before the horn gave the hosts a 41-34 lead. Waynesburg shot 60 percent in the opening half.
Casey Hope's triple one minute into the second half pushed the WU advantage to 46-36, but W&J chipped away at the deficit and eventually tied the game at 56 on a triple by the PAC's leading three-point shooter, sophomore point guard Doug Johnson (Greensburg, Pa./Latrobe), at the 5:36 mark.
Waynesburg scored the next five points; however, the Presidents responded once again to force a 61-61 tie after sophomore forward Nate Bellhy's (McDonald, Pa./Fort Cherry) three-point play with 2:54 left.
W&J finally grabbed its first lead (68-65) with 1:19 remaining after Johnson knocked down another trifecta. EJ Coleman narrowed the gap to 68-67 16 seconds later and Hope's two foul shots with 17 ticks left put Waynesburg back ahead 69-68.
Zach Bellhy was fouled while driving to the basket and calmly made both free throws, including the second following a Waynesburg timeout. The Presidents' defense then forced an off-balanced jumper along the baseline for WU's final shot.
Johnson is now shooting 53 percent from three-point range this season after making 3-of-4 attempts against the Yellow Jackets and finishing with 11 points. Nate Bellhy posted 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists, while his brother, Zach contributed 16 points, four rebounds, three blocks and two assists. Freshman reserve guard Nick Martin (Beaver Falls, Pa./Blackhawk) provided a spark with 12 points to round out four Presidents in double figures.
W&J shot 44 percent (25-of-57) and held a 31-27 edge on the glass. The Presidents also received 22 points from players off the bench.
Waynesburg's hot shooting first 20 minutes came to a quick halt in the second half as it was limited to 30 percent (7-of-23) after the break. Jacob Fleegle led four Yellow Jackets in double figures with 17 points.
W&J looks for a season sweep of PAC-leading Thomas More on Saturday when hosting the Saints at 2:00 pm. On Dec. 8, the Presidents defeated the Saints 92-82 in Kentucky for TMC's lone league loss of the year thus far.