W&J Women’s Hoops Opens PAC Tournament At Saint Vincent
WASHINGTON, Pa. - The Washington & Jefferson College women’s basketball team travels to Saint Vincent for the quarterfinal round of the Presidents’ Athletic Conference Championship Tournament on Tuesday. Tip-off is set for 6:00 pm at the Carey Center.
The Presidents (12-13, 7-11) own a 13-9 record all-time in PAC Tournament, but are winless in three true road games. W&J is 11-1 in opening round games since the tournament’s inception in 2000, with its lone loss coming last year at Waynesburg.
Saint Vincent (20-5, 15-3) and W&J will be meeting for the first time in the PAC Tournament. Despite being swept by the Bearcats this winter, the Presidents hold a 9-6 edge in the all-time series. W&J is 4-3 in seven visits to Latrobe, but has lost its last two trips, including a 72-59 setback on Jan. 7th. For those who cannot make it out, the game will be webcast online (http://www.meridix.com/everywhere.php?liveid=SaintVincentCollege).
During that contest, the Presidents battled back from an 18-point deficit to grab a one-point lead midway through the second half; however, Elle Collins drained a pair of three-pointers and Devin McGrath netted six points as SVC responded with 14-3 run to regain a double-digit edge. Junior guard Emily Abraham (Canfield, Ohio/Boardman) paced W&J with 15 points. Senior point guard Vanessa Rivera (Reading, Pa./Wilson) added 10 points, five assists and five steals, while classmate Ashley Kirkpatrick (Sharon, Pa./Kennedy Catholic) contributed 11 points.
The Bearcats also claimed a 12-point victory in Washington two weeks ago. W&J battled back from 11 points down at the half, cutting SVC’s lead to as little as three, but McGrath drilled a key triple with 1:31 left as Saint Vincent withstood the Presidents’ final surge for a 73-61 victory. Kirkpatrick produced a double-double with team-highs of 13 points and 12 rebounds. Senior Courtney Walsh (Mill-Hall, Pa./Central Mountain) scored 12 points and pulled down eight boards, while classmate Blair Cotton (Pittsburgh, Pa./Oakland Catholic) tallied 10 points.
Saint Vincent has held the Presidents’ top-scoring duo of Kirkpatrick and Rivera mostly in check during their careers. Kirkpatrick has averaged 7.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in seven games, while Rivera has put up 4.4 points, 2.6 assists and 1.5 steals in eight meetings; however, the pair has been hot lately. Kirkpatrick has four double-doubles in the last five games and is averaging 18.6 points and 11.8 rebounds during that time and Rivera has netted 14.7 points, along with 4.7 assists and 4.3 rebounds over her last three contests.
Saint Vincent enters the PAC Tournament having won three of its last four games, including a 103-50 romp against Bethany on Saturday. Forward Brittany Sedlock, the reigning PAC Player of the Year, leads the conference in scoring (16.3 ppg) and rebounding (9.6 rpg). McGrath (12.4 ppg) and Emily Fenton (11.4 ppg) also average double figures for the Bearcats, the second-highest scoring team in the league (71.8).