Second-Half Surge Lifts W&J To Fourth Consecutive Victory
WASHINGTON, Pa. - After holding a one-point halftime advantage, the Washington & Jefferson College women’s basketball team outscored Bethany 43-27 in the second stanza en route to a 76-59 victory at the Henry Memorial Center on Wednesday evening.
The win was the fourth-straight for the Presidents, who upped their record to 7-5 overall and 2-3 in Presidents’ Athletic Conference play. Bethany dropped to 7-5 overall and 3-2 in the PAC.
The game was tightly contested for the first eight minutes of action, but the Presidents used a 10-2 spurt to open up a 23-12 lead midway through the half. Senior point guard Vanessa Rivera (Reading, Pa./Wilson) started the run with a fast break layup and classmate Ashley Kirkpatrick (Sharon, Pa./Kennedy Catholic) capped it off with three-straight baskets.
The Bison slowly chipped away at the lead, eventually cutting W&J’s advantage to 33-32 just before halftime on a pair of free throws by Anne Wilson.
W&J used stout defense and solid free throw shooting to pull away from the Bison in the second half. On two occasions, BC went over four minutes without a basket and was held to just 25 percent shooting (7-28). W&J made 13-of-14 shots during the second half from the charity stripe led by Rivera, who connected on 7-of-8 free throws in the final 20 minutes and 10-of-11 overall.
Kirkpatrick paced the Presidents, who shot a season-high 50 percent (29-58) from the field, with 22 points. She also added six rebounds, four assists and two blocks.
Senior forward Courtney Walsh (Mill-Hall, Pa./Central Mountain) recorded the second double-double of her career with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Her first double-double came against John Carroll last season.
Rivera finished with 16 points and dished out three assists, while senior forward Blair Cotton (Pittsburgh, Pa./Oakland Catholic) contributed seven second-half points and six boards.
Bethany was limited to 29 percent shooting (16-54) from the floor and made just 18-of-30 (.600) free throws. Wilson led Bethany with 16 points.
W&J begins a three-game road swing at Saint Vincent on Saturday starting at 4:00 pm.