Presidents Upended By Thiel In Greenville
GREENVILLE, Pa. – Thiel College handed the Washington and Jefferson College women’s basketball team its first conference loss of the season by a score of 76-66 at Beeghly Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.
Thiel (1-6, 1-1) defended W&J tough all afternoon on its way to its first win of the season. W&J’s two-game winning streak came to an end as it fell to 3-3 overall and 1-1 in Presidents’ Athletic Conference play.
The Tomcats opened the game with six-straight points and led by as many as 11 in the opening 20 minutes.
Senior guard Kayla Strimel (Morgantown, W. Va.) connected on a jumper with 7:44 remaining in the first half to cut the Thiel lead to 25-21; however, W&J made only 1-of-13 shots the rest of the way and trailed 36-29 at halftime.
The Presidents hung tough because of solid free throw shooting, hitting on 11-of-13 attempts in the first stanza.
Behind senior forward Ashley Kirkpatrick (Sharon, Pa./Kennedy Catholic) and sophomore guard Kara Seamon (Morgantown, W. Va./University), W&J slashed into the Tomcats’ lead midway through the second half. With 11:06 remaining and the Presidents trailing 54-41, Kirkpatrick sank a layup off a feed from Seamon that ignited a 14-4 W&J run.
Kirkpatrick scored nine points during the run, while Seamon picked up a pair of steals and two assists on Kirkpatrick-made baskets and then scored on a breakaway layup of her own to cut Thiel’s lead to 58-55.
However, that was as close as the Presidents would get, as the Tomcats responded with a 10-2 run to extend the lead back to double digits.
Kirkpatrick led W&J with a season-high 25 points on 9-of-20 shooting, while adding nine rebounds. Senior point guard Vanessa Rivera (Reading, Pa./Wilson) was the only other President in double-figure scoring with 12 points. She also contributed seven rebounds, four assists and three steals before fouling out with 2:47 remaining.
W&J hit 87 percent (20-23) of its free throws, but shot just 34 percent (22-64) overall. Thiel held the Presidents, the top three-point shooting team in the conference, to just two made triples on 13 attempts.
Thiel was led by Kelly Muffley, who connected on 14-of-15 free throw attempts on her way to 22 points. As a team, the Tomcats got to the free throw stripe 44 times, hitting 33. W&J committed 29 personal fouls.
W&J is back on the court again on Wednesday when it travels to Thomas More for a 5:30 pm game.