Zach Bellhy Lifts Presidents To PAC Opening Victory In OT
WASHINGTON, Pa. – Senior guard Zach Bellhy (McDonald, Pa./Fort Cherry) scored 23 of his 31 points in the second half and overtime to help Washington & Jefferson open its Presidents’ Athletic Conference men’s basketball schedule with a 92-87 overtime victory over Westminster on Wednesday evening at the Henry Memorial Center.
Bellhy made 14-of-21 shots from the field, while adding nine rebounds and two assists in 39 minutes of action.
W&J (2-4, 1-0 PAC) overcame a 40-point performance from Westminster’s Doug Smith, who canned the second-most three-pointers in Titan history after knocking down 10-of-17 shots from beyond the arc.
W&J raced out to an early 14-5 lead behind seven points from sophomore forward Nate Bellhy (McDonald, Pa./Fort Cherry), but Westminster clawed back into the game by scoring nine of the last 10 points in the half to take a 39-37 lead into the break.
Westminster (2-2, 0-1 PAC) scored the first basket of the second half, but Zach Bellhy took over, scoring eight buckets over the next 12 minutes, to put W&J in front 70-60 at the 7:58 mark.
However, Smith buried back-to-back three-pointers and Anthony Thomas’ jumper with 1:43 left tied the game 75-75. A pair of free throws by W&J sophomore guard Mike Resnik (White Oak, Pa./McKeesport) nudged the Presidents ahead 33 seconds later, but Adam Carswell’s putback with 54 seconds remaining was the final basket of regulation. W&J turned the ball over with 3.8 seconds left and Thomas’ off-balanced three-point attempt at the horn hit the back of the rim.
Bellhy and Smith traded three-pointers early in overtime, but W&J grabbed control for good when Bellhy sank a pair of shots around a key triple from sophomore guard Doug Johnson (Greensburg, Pa./Greater Latrobe). Those shots stretched the lead to 87-80 with 1:16 left and the Titans never recovered. Westminster missed all three of its free throws in the extra session.
Both teams shot 49.3 percent, but W&J held a 47-34 edge on the glass. Nate Bellhy contributed 15 points, 10 rebounds and four assists for the Presidents before leaving due to an injury. Senior forward Ben Cecchini (Jamestown, N.Y./Jamestown) added 14 points, nine rebounds and four assists, while Resnik notched 11 points (7-of-8 free throws).
Smith made 14-of-23 shots overall and grabbed eight rebounds. He was one of four Titans in double figures.
W&J hits the road Saturday for another PAC game at Thiel (3:00 pm).