W&J Basketball Hosts Saint Vincent On Wednesday
WASHINGTON, Pa. – Washington & Jefferson College continues Presidents’ Athletic Conference play on Wednesday when Saint Vincent visits the Henry Memorial Center for a basketball doubleheader.
The men’s game tips off at 6:00 pm and will be followed by the women’s contest at 8:00 pm. WashJeffSports.tv will be streaming both games live online.
The Presidents’ women (5-1, 2-0) are looking for their first 3-0 start in conference play since the 2008-09 season. W&J will face a stiff test from the Bearcats (4-2, 2-0), who also enter the game unbeaten in league play. The Presidents have lost five-straight games to SVC; however, W&J has claimed 4-of-6 meetings in Washington and leads the all-time series 9-6.
Sophomore center Valerie Dunlap (Hostetter, Pa./Latrobe) was named PAC Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 15.0 points and 12.5 rebounds during two W&J victories last week. Dunlap turned in a double-double performance with 13 points and 11 rebounds as the Presidents rolled to a 15-point win (65-50) at Thiel on Saturday. W&J saw its 20-point second-half lead cut to eight, but Dunlap responded with five consecutive points and senior guard Emily Abraham (Canfield, Ohio/Boardman) drilled a three-pointer with 80 seconds left to seal the Presidents’ victory.
Junior forward Chelsea Apke (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon) also recorded a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds, while classmate Kara Seamon (Morgantown, W.Va./University) matched a career high with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting (3-3 3PT). Seamon also dished out four assists and remains the PAC leader in assists per game at 3.8.
Apke and Dunlap’s double-doubles marked the first time two W&J players posted a double-double in the same game since Dunlap and Ashley Kirkpatrick ‘12 both accomplished the feat against Chatham on Jan. 11, 2011. The pair have both recorded three double-doubles this season, bested only by Riian McCray (5) of Thiel among PAC players.
Saint Vincent has won 31 of its last 36 conference games dating back to 2010 and has claimed its first two PAC contests this season by an average of 29.0 points. The Bearcats boast the league’s top scoring offense (68.2) led by senior forward Devin McGrath. McGrath, who is a two-time All-PAC performer, leads SVC in scoring (13.5) and rebounding (9.7). She has enjoyed a considerable amount of success during her career against W&J by averaging 14.0 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.1 steals in seven games.
The Presidents’ men had their two-game winning streak halted by Thiel on Saturday. W&J was held to its lowest point total of the season during the 57-48 loss in Greenville. Senior
R.J. Pilato (Greensburg, Pa./Hempfield) was the lone President in double figures with 11 points. Classmate Zach Bellhy (McDonald, Pa./Fort Cherry), the PAC’s second-leading scorer, was limited to just four points, ending his 16-game streak of double-figure scoring performances.
W&J was outrebounded (44-27) on Saturday for just the second time in six games this season. By comparison, the Presidents held a rebound advantage in just 8-of-27 games last year. A pair of newcomers have aided the effort on the boards. Sophomore Nate Bellhy (McDonald, Pa./Fort Cherry) leads the PAC in rebounding (10.5), while senior Ben Cecchini (Jamestown, N.Y./Jamestown) ranks seventh (6.4 rpg). Bellhy missed Saturday’s game due to injury.
Zach Bellhy has 1,139 career points entering Wednesday’s game which places him 17th on the school's all-time scoring list. Mike Turkaly '76 is 16th with 1,200 points. Bellhy's next field goal will be the 400th of his career and his 108 three-pointers are just 13 shy of Nolan Larry ‘03 for fifth all-time.
W&J and Saint Vincent will be matching up for the 50th time in history. SVC has won three consecutive games in the series; however, the Presidents have won 5-of-7 games in Washington since the Bearcats joined the PAC in 2005. Zach Bellhy has averaged 15.5 points during the last two seasons against Saint Vincent.
The Bearcats enter tonight's game on a two-game win streak after victories over Penn State-Fayette (83-56) and Westminster (72-55). SVC limited Westminster to four first-half field goals in building a 35-15 lead after 20 minutes. Senior guard Chris Klimchock led the Bearcats with 23 points (12-of-13 free throws), five assists and two steals. Chris' father, Rick, is a 1978 W&J graduate who lettered four years as a wide receiver for the Presidents' football team.
W&J travels to Kentucky on Saturday to face Thomas More. Tip-off for the women’s game is set for 1:00 pm, while the men’s contest begins at 3:00 pm.