W&J Visits Rival Waynesburg Wednesday
WASHINGTON, Pa. – The Washington & Jefferson College basketball teams make the short trip to Waynesburg on Wednesday for a Presidents’ Athletic Conference basketball doubleheader against the Yellow Jackets. The women’s game tips at 5:30 pm followed by the men’s contest at 7:30 pm.
The W&J men have won eight-straight games at Rudy Marisa Fieldhouse and lead the all-time series with the Yellow Jackets 54-43. The Presidents have outscored Waynesburg by an average of 12 points and have allowed the Yellow Jackets to reach the 70-point mark only once during the last eight road meetings. Senior guard Zach Bellhy (McDonald, Pa./Fort Cherry) led W&J to a come-from-behind 68-59 victory at Waynesburg last season by netting 15 of his 19 points during the second half.
W&J reached the 100-point mark for the first time since 2010 when it downed Waynesburg 100-84 on January 2. Bellhy led all scorers with 27 points on 11-of-17 shooting, while sophomore Mike Resnik (White Oak, Pa./McKeesport) netted 17 (7-9 FG) in 25 minutes off the bench. Sophomore forward Nate Bellhy (McDonald, Pa./Fort Cherry) recorded a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds and junior Brett Rubin-Goldstein (Pittsburgh, Pa./Fox Chapel) contributed 14 points. The Presidents shot 61 percent (39-64) during the game, their highest single-game shooting percentage since 2007.
Zach Bellhy recorded a game-high 19 points against Thiel on Saturday, but it was not enough as W&J fell to the Tomcats 67-58. Both teams drained 22 field goals, including five three-pointers, and grabbed 32 rebounds. The difference in the game came at the free throw stripe where Thiel sank 18-of-27 attempts, while the Presidents drained 9-of-11.
Sophomore guard Doug Johnson (Greensburg, Pa./Greater Latrobe) connected on four three-pointers against the Tomcats. He has made six of his eight attempts from beyond the arc during the Presidents’ last three games. Johnson is the PAC leader in three-point shooting percentage (.511) and he has drained 58 percent (17-29) of his attempts during conference games. Since the 2001-02 season, only six different Presidents have shot at least 40 percent from beyond the arc during an entire season (minimum 50 attempts). Tyler Trutza posted the top three-point shooting percentage of any player during that time at nearly 43 percent (36-84) during the 2004-05 campaign. In school history, only Jeff Petri has hit at least 50 percent of his triples during a season (.519 in 1990-91).
Waynesburg returns to Rudy Marisa Fieldhouse to begin its final homestand of the season sporting a 5-5 mark in its own gym this winter. The Yellow Jackets split a pair of road games last week, topping Grove City by 10 points before falling at Thomas More by the same margin. During its last home game (Jan. 19), Waynesburg knocked off Bethany 67-64, ending a 22-game losing streak to the Bison. Jason Propst, the Yellow Jackets’ leading scorer (13.2 ppg), posted a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds to lead the team. Propst was limited to just eight points when W&J and Waynesburg met in Washington earlier this season.
The W&J women picked up their third-straight home win by downing Thiel 73-67 on Saturday. W&J broke open a one-point game late in the second half with a 10-0 run fueled by five points from junior forward Chelsea Apke (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon). Apke scored 17 of her team-high 21 points during the second half, while sophomore center Valerie Dunlap (Hostetter, Pa./Latrobe) contributed 17 points. Senior Emily Abraham (Canfield, Ohio/Boardman) tallied 13 points and junior Alexa Burzese (Sewickley, Pa./Quaker Valley) filled up the stat sheet with nine points, five assists, three rebounds and two steals.
W&J recorded 20 assists on 27 made baskets led by sophomore guard Alexa DelGreco (Pittsburgh, Pa./Seton LaSalle), who dished out a career-high seven. Junior point guard Kara Seamon (Morgantown, W. Va./University) handed out five to up her league-leading total to 74 this winter. She could become the fourth consecutive President to top the conference in assists after Kennan Killeen ‘10 paced the PAC during the 2009-10 season and Vanessa Rivera ‘12 accomplished the feat during the last two years.
W&J and Waynesburg meet for the 50th time in history with the Presidents holding a commanding 36-13 advantage in the series. The Yellow Jackets have taken three-straight games in Waynesburg following 16 consecutive Presidents’ victories. When the teams last met at Rudy Marisa Fieldhouse, Jessi Drayer netted 16 points off the bench to help Waynesburg hold off W&J for a 59-57 victory.
The Yellow Jackets’ offense features a balanced scoring attack with five players averaging over 7.0 points per game, paced by Brittany Spencer at 12.4. Spencer also leads the team in rebounding (6.3 rpg). Waynesburg is the top rebounding team in the league (45.1 rpg), while W&J allows the fewest rebounds per game in the league (36.6).
During the teams’ first meeting, the Yellow Jackets broke open a one-point game at halftime with a flurry of three-pointers and claimed a 71-57 victory. Waynesburg was just 1-of-8 from beyond the arc during the first 20 minutes, but drained 7-of-9 attempts during the second half. Elaine Hasek led four Yellow Jackets in double figures with 14 points, while also pulling down eight rebounds. Dunlap and Burzese both scored 14 points to pace the Presidents. Abraham added 13 points and Apke led W&J with 13 boards.
W&J returns home on Saturday to face Thomas More. The Presidents’ men handed TMC one of its three losses this winter by a 92-82 score, while the W&J women pushed NCAA Division III’s 10th-ranked team to the brink, before falling to the Saints 61-57.