Dunlap Pushes Presidents Into PAC Semifinals
WASHINGTON, Pa. -- Sophomore center Valerie Dunlap (Hostetter, Pa./Latrobe) totaled 21 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks to help third-seeded Washington & Jefferson College advance to Presidents’ Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament semifinals following a 59-50 victory over sixth-seeded Grove City Tuesday night at the Henry Memorial Center.
The Presidents (19-7), who are now 12-2 at home in PAC Tournament history, will face second-seeded Saint Vincent in Friday’s first semifinal (6:00 pm) at Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Ky. The top-seeded Saints will play fourth-seeded Waynesburg with the winners meeting for the title and NCAA automatic bid Saturday at 4:00 pm.
The quarterfinal game turned into a second-half battle between W&J’s Dunlap and Grove City’s Kathryn Erbelding. Both players nearly recorded triple-doubles as Erbelding finished with 23 points, 11 rebounds and eight steals.
W&J, which is one victory shy of winning 20 games in a season for the ninth time in school history, jumped out to a 12-1 lead in the first five minutes. Grove City (9-14) notched its first field goal of the game, a three-pointer by Leah Gibson, at the 14:14 mark.
The Wolverines hung around, despite only shooting 32 percent in the first half, and eventually grabbed a 24-22 lead after two Gibson free throws with 1:41 left. However, W&J scored the final three points and took a 25-24 edge at the break.
Washington & Jefferson once again stormed out of the locker room and stretched the lead to 32-24 after five points from junior guard Alexa Burzese (Sewickley, Pa./Quaker Valley).
Grove City refused to go away and Erbelding’s basket with 9:02 left put the visitors in front 40-39. W&J senior guard Emily Abraham (Canfield, Ohio/Boardman) halted the Wolverines momentum with back-to-back three-pointers.
The Wolverines closed to within one point twice in the final six minutes, but Dunlap answered both times with jump shots and W&J escaped.
Dunlap made 9-of-19 shots from the field and played 39 minutes. Junior guard Kara Seamon (Morgantown, W.Va./University) added 13 points and four rebounds, while Abraham netted nine points. W&J shot 39 percent (19-of-49) and forced 22 turnovers.
Grove City outrebounded W&J 41-36, but the Wolverines were limited to 32 percent shooting (20-of-63). GCC had 14 offensive rebounds.