DeRubbo reaches 300th career win at W&J

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The second time was a charm for Jina DeRubbo’s pursuit of her 300th career victory.


After the Washington & Jefferson College women’s basketball team lost to No. 9 Thomas More Saturday, leaving DeRubbo stuck on 299, the Presidents rebounded nicely with a convincing 69-50 victory over Grove City in a Presidents’ Athletic Conference Wednesday night at Henry Memorial Center.


The W&J men couldn’t make it a clean sweep, dropping the nightcap, 60-52, to the Wolverines.


“It’s special,” DeRubbo said of her 300th win. “But it is more about the kids than me. I have been able to surround myself with some special and talented kids through the years. It says a lot about the kids I have had the opportunity to coach.”


W&J (10-5, 15-7) used a big late first half run to put the Wolverines away, but Grove City (6-9, 7-12) made it interesting in the second half.


The Presidents opened with a 13-6 run over the first four minutes of the game behind some sharp shooting from behind the arc by Alexa Burzese, who hit three of her five three-pointers in that span.


Grove City then went on a 14-2 run to take a 20-15 lead 10 minutes in before W&J closed the half on a 15-4 spurt to take a 40-29 halftime lead.


That run to close the half was due in large part to being able to pound the ball down low to Valerie Dunlap, who scored nine of her 13 first half points during that stretch. She finished with a double-double, 16 points and 13 rebounds.


“It was a game of runs,” said DeRubbo. “We came out nicely, and they had the answer for us. We shot the ball well, and moved the ball well, but we really started to get things going when we were able to start getting the ball inside more. We have spurts in our offense where we don’t get the ball inside enough. We have a 6-3 center who we have to keep involved more.”


The Presidents scored the first eight points of the second half to extend their lead to 19, but Grove City went on another run and closed the gap to six, 52-46, with eight minutes to go. W&J outscored the Wolverines 17-4 to close out the game.


“We buckled down defensively when we had to and got some stops when we had to,” said DeRubbo. “Overall, it was a pretty good and special night.”


Burzese led W&J in scoring with 17 and Dunlap (13), Chelsea Apke (14) and Emily Abraham (12) also finished in double-figures.


“It was very special to get coach her 300th win,” said Abraham. “She preaches teamwork, and it was a total team effort.”


Annie Wells led Grove City in scoring, who shot just 33 percent from the floor, with 13 points.


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