Women's Basketball Visits Pittsburgh To Face Chatham Saturday
WASHINGTON, Pa. -- The Washington & Jefferson College basketball team looks to remain unbeaten all-time against Chatham when it faces the Cougars for the 20th time in history on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 pm.
With a victory, W&J (15-7, 10-5) can clinch one of the top four seeds in the upcoming Presidents’ Athletic Conference Tournament (Feb. 19-23). Each of the top four teams in the regular-season standings will host quarterfinal round games on Tuesday, Feb. 19.
The Presidents are 9-0 on the road throughout history against Chatham with an average margin of victory of 22.0 points. Only two contests have been decided by less than 12 points. Last season in Pittsburgh, sophomore center Valerie Dunlap (Hostetter, Pa./Latrobe) came off the bench to record 16 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks and two steals, while junior guard Alexa Burzese (Sewickley, Pa./Quaker Valley) added 12 points (3-3 3PT) as W&J cruised past Chatham 85-59.
The same duo led W&J to a 69-50 victory over Grove City Wednesday to give Head Coach Jina DeRubbo the 300th victory of her 16-year career. Burzese drained five shots from beyond the arc and led all scorers with 17 points, while Dunlap collected 16 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks. Junior point guard Kara Seamon (Morgantown, W. Va./University) dished out a career-high eight of W&J’s 19 assists.
Burzese has come on strong of late for the Presidents, averaging 7.4 points and 2.7 assists in her last seven games. She has also made at least one three-pointer and dished out two or more assists in six of those seven outings.
DeRubbo is the first coach in PAC women’s basketball history to amass 300 career victories, all of which have come conference schools W&J and Bethany. The first 131 occurred in seven seasons with the Bison, while the final 169 have been during her nine years at W&J. The Presidents could make their seventh postseason appearance under her direction this winter and her 69.3 career winning percentage (300-133) is 42nd among active NCAA Division III coaches with a minimum of five years of experience.
In the first meeting between W&J and Chatham (3-19, 2-13 PAC) this year, the Presidents’ defense dominated by limiting the Cougars to 16 percent shooting and only eight field goals during a 61-27 win. It was the first time in six years that Washington & Jefferson held an opponent to under 30 points. Chatham only made one basket in the final 15:33 of the first half and trailed 32-13 at halftime. Junior forward Chelsea Apke (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mt. Lebanon) only needed 18 minutes to record a 14-point, 13-rebound double-double. Emily Schmidt was the lone Cougar to reach double figures with 10 points.
Chatham has won once since losing to the Presidents, a 57-56 overtime victory at Geneva on Jan. 26. The Cougars, who swept the season series with Geneva, received 11 points from Rachel McClain and Marguerite Sargent. Sargent’s sister, Juliet, is a 2008 W&J graduate and former basketball player. McClain averages a team-high 12.6 points per game.