DeRubbo Goes For Career Win No. 300 Against Thomas More Saturday
WASHINGTON, Pa. – Washington & Jefferson College Head Women’s Basketball Coach Jina DeRubbo aims for the 300th victory of her career when Thomas More visits the Henry Memorial Center for a Presidents’ Athletic Conference doubleheader on Saturday
DeRubbo owns a 299-132 (.694) career record in 16 seasons as a head coach with 168 of those victories coming during her nine seasons with the Presidents. She has led the team to six 20-win seasons and six postseason appearances, including four NCAA Division III Tournament berths.
Prior to coming to W&J, DeRubbo spent seven seasons as the head coach at Bethany. She is Bethany’s all-time coaching wins leader with 131 and her teams posted winning records during each of her seven seasons on the bench.
DeRubbo picked up her 299th victory when W&J edged Waynesburg 56-51 on Wednesday night. Junior forward Chelsea Apke (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon) and sophomore center Valerie Dunlap (Hostetter, Pa./Latrobe) keyed the win by combining for 45 points and 25 rebounds. Apke reeled off seven-straight Presidents’ points late in the second half to put W&J in front 52-46. The Yellow Jackets battled back to within one point with under one minute to play, but an off-balance jumper in the lane from Dunlap gave W&J a three-point cushion. Junior point guard Kara Seamon (Morgantown, W. Va./University) stole the ensuing inbound pass and made 1-of-2 free throws to clinch the victory.
Apke posted her 10th double-double with 22 points (7-12 FG) and 14 rebounds, while Dunlap netted a game-high 23 points on 10-of-15 shooting and pulled in 11 boards. Seamon dished out five assists, the third-straight game in which she handed out at least five helpers. Seamon leads the PAC in assists per game at 4.0.
The 56-51 victory was the third by that exact score this season for the Presidents. Prior to this year, W&J had never posted a 56-51 win in the program’s 37-year history.
Senior guard Emily Abraham (Canfield, Ohio/Boardman) drilled a pair of three-pointers against Waynesburg and has made at least one in all 20 games this season. In nine of her last 10 contests, she has drained multiple triples. 37 of Abraham’s 46 made field goals have come from behind the three-point arc. She is fourth in the PAC in three-point shooting (.374) and is fifth in school history 106 career triples. On Thursday, she was selected to the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District Team.
Thomas More is ranked ninth by D3hoops.com and has won 16-straight games since dropping its only contest of the season to second-ranked Calvin in overtime on Nov. 23. The Saints cruised to their 26th consecutive conference victory by pounding Geneva 90-31 on Wednesday. TMC recorded 49 points off 34 Golden Tornado turnovers and shot 51 percent (38-75) from the field. The Saints rank fifth in NCAA Division III in assist to turnover ratio (+1.2) and sixth in scoring margin (+24.0). Senior guard Allison Long is the PAC’s second-leading scorer (16.7 ppg), while sophomore forward Jenny Burgoyne leads the league in shooting percentage (.580).
Long scored 12 points and Devin Beasley came off the bench to net 15 when Thomas More edged W&J 61-57 earlier this season in Kentucky. The Presidents led with 4:53 to play, but Beasley drained back-to-back jumpers to put TMC in front by three. W&J had a chance to tie with 17 seconds left but a shot rang off the rim and Long sank two free throws to ice the game. Apke recorded a 13-point, 14-rebound double-double, while freshman forward Beka Bellhy (McDonald, Pa./Fort Cherry) added 12 points and five assists.
All-time, the Saints lead the series 11-8. W&J is looking for its first home victory against TMC since a 61-57 win during the 2009-10 season.
The W&J men handed Thomas More its lone conference loss of the season by a 92-82 score on December 8. Sophomore forward Nate Bellhy (McDonald, Pa./Fort Cherry) erupted for 37 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to help the Presidents end a six-game road losing streak in the series. Bellhy drained 13-of-19 shots, including 7-of-8 from beyond the arc. His 37 points were the most by a President since the program’s all-time leading scorer, Jon Koch ‘07, poured in 38 during an 83-71 victory at Thiel on Jan. 21, 2006.
Bellhy led all scorers with 17 points to help W&J clip Waynesburg 70-69 on Wednesday. The Presidents led for just 61 seconds during the game, but managed to pull out the victory after senior guard Zach Bellhy (McDonald, Pa./Fort Cherry) sank a pair of free throws to put W&J in front with eight seconds left. The Yellow Jackets’ final shot bounced off the rim as time expired.
Bellhy netted 16 points to move into ninth all-time in scoring at W&J with 1,403 points. He also passed Nolan Larry ‘03 for fifth on the Presidents’ career three-point list with 122.
Sophomore point guard Doug Johnson (Greensburg, Pa./Greater Latrobe) drilled 3-of-4 three-point attempts, his sixth game with three or more triples this season. Johnson’s .531 three-point shooting percentage leads the league and he could become just the second PAC player to shoot at least 50 percent from beyond the arc in the last five seasons. Zach Bellhy was the last President to lead the conference in three-point shooting (.409 during the 2009-10 season).
Thomas More has won eight-straight games since the calendar turned to 2013, with six of those victories coming by double figures. D’Carlo Hayes netted 16 points to lead the Saints to an 82-65 home win over Geneva on Wednesday. Hayes is the lone Saint averaging a double-figure scoring output per game this season (11.8 ppg). Thomas More has 10 players that score at least five points per contest.
Saturday’s meeting will be the 23rd in history between W&J and Thomas More, with TMC leading the series 12-10. The Presidents have won 6-of-10 games played in Washington.
W&J hosts Grove City on Wednesday at the Henry Memorial Center. The Presidents’ men and women will both go for the season sweep after the men posted a 63-50 victory and the women downed the Wolverines 54-40 on January 9.