Presidents Fall Short At Westminster
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Westminster College defeated the Washington & Jefferson College women's basketball team for the second time this season, earning a 62-55 PAC victory at Buzz Ridl Gymnasium on Wednesday evening.
Neither squad led by more than six points during a back-and-forth first half that featured five ties and five lead changes. Senior point guard Vanessa Rivera (Reading, Pa./Wilson) gave the Presidents (10-10, 5-8) a 32-31 halftime edge with a pair of free throws with 46 seconds remaining.
The Titans (7-12, 7-6) came out of the locker room on fire, scoring 16 of the first 20 points of the second stanza. Westminster made six of its first 10 shots to grab a double-figure advantage.
Facing a 13-point deficit, W&J strung together a rally behind Rivera and classmate Ashley Kirkpatrick (Sharon, Pa./Kennedy Catholic). The duo combined to score 10 straight points for the Presidents as they cut the Titans' lead to four.
Danielle Gilmore had an answer for Westminster; however, scoring the team's final nine points. After Kirkpatrick drilled a jumper to make the score 54-50, Gilmore sank a layup and was fouled. She made the ensuing free throw and netted six more shots from the charity stripe during the final 30 seconds to preserve the seven-point victory for the Titans.
Gilmore finished the contest with 12 points and was joined in double figures by Katie Hughes (15) and Gabby Holko (12). Westminster shot 40.3 percent (20-49) from the field and held a 40-33 edge on the glass.
Rivera paced the Presidents with a season-high 18 points. She made 7-of-8 shots, pulled down six rebounds and dished out four assists, while Kirkpatrick added 16 points, five rebounds and three blocks. W&J connected on 37 percent (22-59) of its shots, but made just 3-of-21 attempts from beyond the arc.
The Presidents travel to Bethany on Saturday for a 2:00 pm contest. Kirkpatrick scored 22 points during W&J's 76-59 victory over the Bison in Washington in early January.