Small college basketball: W&J women resume ECAC play; PSAC tournaments set
A berth in the ECAC Division III Southern Division women’s basketball championship game is on the line when third-seeded Washington & Jefferson (21-8) faces second-seeded Swarthmore (21-7) in the semifinals of the tournament Saturday in Bethlehem. Tip-off is 2 p.m.
Host and top-seeded Moravian (21-6) takes on fourth-seeded Juniata (19-8) at 4 p.m.
W&J and Swarthmore have never met in women’s basketball. The Presidents own a 5-3 all-time record against current members of the Centennial Conference, but have not faced a foe from the league since defeating Washington (Md.) 80-53 in 2007.
Junior forward Chelsea Apke had 17 points, four rebounds and three steals in W&J’s first-round win Wednesday over Penn State-Behrend. Senior guard Emily Abraham matched her career best with 20 points, including four three-pointers. Kara Seamon had six assists and sophomore center Valerie Dunlap produced her 11th double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The Presidents’ 21 victories are the sixth-highest, single-season total in school history. Seven of W&J’s 20-win seasons have come under head coach Jina DeRubbo. Saturday’s game will be the 30th of the season for W&J, the most the school has played in its 39-year history.
Swarthmore advanced to the semifinals with a 67-61 victory over seventh-seeded Marywood. The Garnet held the Pacers scoreless over the final 5:53, while scoring the game’s last seven points. Eliza Polli and Elle Larsen tied for the team lead with 17 points. Polli made five three-pointers, and Larsen had nine rebounds and four blocked shots. Centennial Conference Player of the Year Katie Lytle contributed eight points, 10 rebounds and six steals.
The championship game is Sunday at 1 p.m. at Moravian’s Johnston Hall.
PSAC tournaments set: The California University men’s and women’s teams open PSAC tournament play Saturday night.
The Cal men (12-14), the sixth-place team in the West Division, will be at third-place Slippery Rock (19-7) for a 7 p.m. first-round game. The winner advances to the quarterfinals Tuesday night at Gannon (22-6), the No. 2 seed out of the West.
The Cal women (19-7) will try for their 20th win of the season when they host Clarion (13-15) in a first-round game at the Convocation Center. Tip-off is 7 p.m. The Vulcans won at Clarion, 68-64, in the regular-season finale Wednesday night.
The Cal-Clarion winner will advance to the quarterfinals Tuesday and play at West Division regular-season winner Gannon (23-6).
The PSAC tournament has been expanded to 12 teams and four rounds.