Presidents To Host Wolverines In PAC Women’s Tournament Quarterfinals
WASHINGTON, Pa. - For the first time in three years, Washington & Jefferson College will host a quarterfinal-round game in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament when Grove City College travels to the Henry Memorial Center Tuesday for a 7:00 pm game.
Washington & Jefferson (18-7, 13-5 PAC) is the No. 3 seed, while Grove City (9-13, 8-10 PAC) is seeded sixth. The Presidents last hosted a PAC Tournament game on Feb. 23, 2010, when Kennan Killeen ’10 hit a jumper with 4.4 seconds remaining to lift W&J to a 66-65 win over Bethany in the quarterfinal round.
The W&J-Grove City matchup is one of four games to be played Tuesday. Top-seeded Thomas More hosts eighth-seeded Bethany, No. 2 Saint Vincent plays host to No. 7 Thiel and fourth-seeded Waynesburg entertains fifth-seeded Westminster. The top remaining seed will host the semifinals (Friday 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm) and championship game (Saturday - TBA).
The Presidents own a 13-10 record all-time in PAC Tournament, including an 11-2 mark in its first game of tournament play with both losses occurring during the past two seasons. The Presidents also hold that same 11-2 record in PAC Tournament home games. The only setbacks happened during the 2000 and 2005 championship games.
W&J and Grove City have met twice in the PAC Tournament; however, not since the 2003 title game in Washington when the Presidents pulled out a 72-63 victory. The programs also played in the 2002 semifinals at Bethany and Kristy Kegg buried a 30-footer at the overtime buzzer for a 65-62 Wolverine triumph.
Washington & Jefferson swept the regular-season series with the Wolverines for the first time since the 2008-09 season after earning 54-40 (Jan. 8) and 69-50 (Feb. 6) victories. W&J leads the all-time series 41-25 and has won six of the last eight games played between the two squads in Washington.
During the 19-point victory at the Henry Memorial Center two weeks ago, junior guard Alexa Burzese (Sewickley, Pa./Quaker Valley) drilled five three-pointers and netted a career-high 17 points to give Head Coach Jina DeRubbo the 300th win of her career. Annie Wells led the Wolverines, who shot just 33 percent, with 13 points.
In the first meeting, junior forward Chelsea Apke (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mt. Lebanon) made 9-of-14 shots from the floor and finished with 18 points and nine rebounds. Grove City struggled on the offensive end, making just 24 percent of its attempts (14-of-57).
W&J racked up a school-record 13 conference victories behind the frontcourt duo of Apke and sophomore center Valerie Dunlap (Hostetter, Pa./Latrobe). The inside duo combines to average 27.9 points and 19.0 rebounds per game. They are responsible for 45 percent of the team’s scoring and 47 percent of the rebounds. With 33 rebounds during the PAC Tournament, Apke would tie W&J Hall of Famer Heather Dawkins ’94 for the fifth-highest, single-season rebound total in school history. Dunlap’s school-record 66 blocks this winter were more than six PAC teams (Thomas More - 60, Chatham - 55, Bethany - 50, Grove City - 48, Westminster - 48 and Geneva - 46) had for the entire season.
Junior point guard Kara Seamon (Morgantown, W.Va./University) leads the PAC with 101 assists (4.0 apg) and would become the third-straight President to lead the league. She is also the team’s fourth-leading scorer at 6.1 points per game.
Grove City is the conference’s top rebounding team (+5.1 rpg), while W&J (+4.2 rpg) is second. The Wolverines have struggled to score on most nights; however, ranking eighth in the league in both scoring (52.9 ppg) and field goal percentage (.336). Grove City’s 77 three-pointers are the fewest among PAC teams. Leah Gibson has nearly half of those triples (38) and leads the team with 15.9 points per game. However, she was limited to 19 total points against the Presidents this year, including a three-point outing (1-of-11 field goals) in the last meeting.