Thomas More Clips W&J To Claim PAC Championship
CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. – Allison Long scored 25 points, including a pair of clutch second-half three-pointers, to lead seventh-ranked and top-seeded Thomas More College to its seventh-straight Presidents’ Athletic Conference women's basketball championship as the Saints downed Washington & Jefferson College 72-59 at the Connor Convocation Center on Saturday.
Long, the 2013 PAC Player of the Year, drained five triples and 8-of-17 shots overall, while adding six steals and five assists to help TMC earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Junior forward Chelsea Apke (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon) and sophomore center Valerie Dunlap (Hostetter, Pa./Latrobe) paced the third-seeded Presidents (20-8) with 17 points each. Apke grabbed a team-high nine rebounds, while Dunlap pulled down eight boards and swiped three steals.
The Saints used an early 12-0 run to jump out to a 14-5 lead, but W&J responded with a 9-3 spurt capped by junior point guard Kara Seamon’s (Morgantown, W. Va./University) three-pointer that brought the Presidents within six at 26-20.
After TMC pushed its lead to eight, sophomore guard Alexa DelGreco (Pittsburgh, Pa./Seton LaSalle) connected on a triple to make the halftime score 30-25.
The Saints roared out of the locker room with seven-straight points to open the second half and Long gave Thomas More a 12-point cushion by sinking a layup at the 13:52 mark.
The Presidents continued to battle as they put together a 14-3 surge to cut into the Saints’ advantage. DelGreco drained a pair of threes and Apke also netted six points during the run that was capped off by a Dunlap jumper, making the score 47-46 in favor of Thomas More. However, Long halted W&J’s momentum with a triple and the Saints eventually moved their lead to seven points.
One minute later, sophomore guard Erin Lavery’s (Pittsburgh, Pa./Oakland Catholic) free throw narrowed the gap to 57-53, but Long again came up with the big plays, a layup and then back-to-back trifectas, to secure the title for the Saints.
TMC shot 37 percent (23-61) from the field, compared to 35 percent (15-42) by the Presidents, and held a 38-30 edge on the glass. W&J was marred by 24 turnovers.
DelGreco finished with 11 points (3-3 3PT), three boards and a trio of steals, while Seamon added eight points and four assists.
Jenny Burgoyne and Moriah Corey both netted nine points for the Saints. Corey led the team with seven rebounds, while Jill Brunsman added 10 points and five boards.
On Monday, the Presidents will await word on a possible postseason bid to the NCAA or ECAC tournaments.