W&J Begins Weeklong Trip At Grove City Wednesday
WASHINGTON, Pa. – The Washington & Jefferson College basketball teams open a two-game road swing when visiting Grove City for a Presidents’ Athletic Conference doubleheader on Wednesday.
The W&J men will be looking for a season-high third-straight victory after posting a pair of double-figure wins last week. The Presidents reached the 100-point mark for the first time since 2010 during a 100-84 victory over rival Waynesburg on Wednesday. Senior Zach Bellhy (Fort Cherry, Pa./McDonald) posted a team-best 27 points on 11-of-17 shooting, while sophomore Mike Resnik (White Oak, Pa./McKeesport) drained 7-of-9 shots for 17 points. As a team, W&J made 61 percent (39-64) of its shots, its top shooting performance since hitting 62 percent (31-50) of its attempts from the field against Bethany in the 2007 PAC Tournament semifinals.
The Presidents followed that hot shooting performance against Waynesburg with a blowout 75-51 victory over Penn State-DuBois on Saturday. Bellhy paced W&J with 17 points, while younger brother, sophomore Nate Bellhy (Fort Cherry, Pa./McDonald), contributed 12 points and eight rebounds.
Zach Bellhy moved into 13th place in scoring all-time at W&J with his 17-point performance against the Lions. During his 91-game career, Bellhy has scored 1,272 points (14.0 ppg). He needs 66 points to become one of the top-10 scorers in W&J history and eight three-pointers to move into fifth place on the all-time triples list.
Bellhy’s layup with four seconds to play lifted the Presidents to a 67-66 victory over Grove City last season, ending W&J’s four-game losing streak at Grove City College Arena. The bucket capped a 33-point performance by Bellhy and helped W&J hold off the Wolverines, who had rallied from 15 points down with six minutes remaining. Bellhy has averaged 21.8 points and 4.5 rebounds during his last four appearances against GCC
The Presidents and Wolverines have split the last five season series with the home team winning eight of those ten matchups. Grove City leads the all-time series that dates back to the 1913-14 season by a 58-53 count.
Sophomore Mitch Marmelstein (14.9 ppg) leads a Wolverine offense that is averaging 63.7 points per game, the lowest output in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference. However, GCC boasts the top three-point shooting percentage in the league (.354) and is limiting opponents to just 39 percent shooting.
The Presidents’ women have won three of their last four games entering Wednesday’s matchup with Grove City. W&J bounced back from a mid-week setback against Waynesburg by routing Chatham 61-27 on Saturday. The Presidents jumped out to a big lead by limiting the Cougars to one field goal during the final 15:33 of the first half and never allowed Chatham to cut the advantage to fewer than 15 points during the second half. Junior forward Chelsea Apke (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon) paced 11 Presidents in the scoring column with 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting. She added 13 rebounds for her PAC-leading seventh double-double along with four assists and two steals.
W&J limited the Cougars to just 16 percent shooting (8-49), the first time it limited an opponent below 20 percent from the field since 2008 when Grove City shot 19 percent during a 63-30 Presidents’ victory. The last time the Presidents held an opponent below the 30-point mark was Dec. 30, 2006, when Hood scored just 24 points.
Apke has produced eight double-figure rebound performances, including four-straight games with at least 11 boards. She leads the conference in rebounding (10.6 rpg) and offensive rebounds with 51 (3.9 per game). Apke is also the PAC’s sixth leading scorer (14.7 ppg) and ranks third in shooting percentage (.511).
Just ahead of Apke in scoring is Grove City’s Leah Gibson at 16.0 points per game. Gibson has knocked down a team-high 17 three-pointers and grabbed 15 steals. The Wolverines have posted a 1-2 mark on their home court this season.
The Presidents have enjoyed considerable success at Grove City, winning 10 of their last 11 games at GCC Arena. W&J will be looking to win its 40th win all-time against the Wolverines in the teams’ 64th meeting. The series has been even recently as each team owns one victory over each other in three consecutive seasons.
W&J continues PAC play on Saturday when the teams visit Hummel Field House in Bethany, W. Va., for a doubleheader with the Bison. The women’s game tips at 2:00 pm, followed by the men’s matchup at 4:00 pm. Both games will be broadcasted live on the PAC Sports Network (www.pacstream.net).