W&J Falls to Waynesburg in PAC Quarterfinals
WAYNESBURG, Pa. - Sixth-seeded Washington & Jefferson College dropped a 52-42 decision to third-seeded Waynesburg University Tuesday, Feburary 22 in the quarterfinal round of the 2011 Presidents' Athletic Conference Tournament at Marisa Fieldhouse.
Despite holding Waynesburg to 27 percent (16-of-60) shooting, the Presidents couldn't overcome 20 turnovers and a 9-of-19 effort from the free throw line. W&J lost to the Yellow Jackets (18-8) for the third time this season.
W&J grabbed a 15-14 lead in the first half, but Waynesburg broke out a full-court press and created four consecutive turnovers during a 9-0 run to claim a 23-15 advantage. The Yellow Jackets never lost the lead the rest of the way.
W&J fought hard and closed to within 47-41 with 59 seconds remaining, but junior point guard Vanessa Rivera (Reading, Pa./Wilson) was blocked on back-to-back layup attempts. A free throw from senior forward Jamie McKitrick (Marietta, Ohio/Marietta) was the only point scored by W&J the rest of the way. Rivera and junior forward Ashley Kirkpatrick (Sharon, Pa./Kennedy Catholic) led W&J with 11 points each.
Kirkpatrick recorded a double-double with 11 rebounds, while Rivera added six assists. She finished the season with 136 assists, the second-highest total in school history.
Waynesburg senior Elisha Jones led all players with 13 points, while sophomores Paige Pearce and Brittany Spencer both recorded lines of eight points and 11 rebounds.
Both teams made defensive adjustments during a frantic first half to frustrate the opposition. W&J primarily played a zone defense to offset the advantage in the paint for Waynesburg, the No. 1 offensive rebounding team in the PAC. WU countered with a full-court press with just over six minutes remaining in the first half and generated four turnovers on four consecutive possessions. W&J turned the ball over 12 times in the first half. However, Kirkpatrick laid in a basket with three seconds left in the first half to cut the deficit to 28-22. She was 4-of-9 from the floor, scoring eight points and grabbing four rebounds in the first half.
The Presidents improved their rebounding dramatically from two previous matchups against Waynesburg this season. After being outrebounded 43-23 and 46-28 in the two games, Waynesburg held only a slim 51-47 Tuesday night.
The Presidents finished 16-of-54 (30 percent) from the field and connected on only one of 11 three-point attempts.
Waynesburg advances in the PAC Tournament, and will travel to No. 1 seed Thomas More's home court to take on Saint Vincent on Friday in the PAC semifinals. W&J finishes its season at 9-16 overall and does not reach the PAC semifinals for the first time in the tournament's history.