W&J holds off Waynesburg in key PAC game
It sounds pretty reasonable.
Players are permitted five personal fouls before fouling out of a college basketball game.
So Jina DeRubba, the women’s head coach at Washington & Jefferson College, has been imploring Val Dunlap to be more aggressive, use her 6-3 frame to get in the way, disrupt, and create chaos. Not hack someone, mind you, but take some chances.
Dunlap did just that Wednesday night in Henry Memorial Center and that helped the Presidents to a 73-65 victory over Waynesburg in a Presidents’ Athletic Conference game.
The win moved the Presidents to 14-6 overall and 9-4 in the conference. Waynesburg is 10-10 and 8-5 in the conference.
More importantly, thanks to its win and Westminster’s loss to Bethany Wednesday, W&J moved into third place in the conference standings. Securing the third seed is important because it allows W&J to avoid undefeated and nationally ranked Thomas More until the finals of the postseason tournament if the Presidents make it that far.
“No one wants to run into Thomas More in the semis,” said DeRubbo. “The kids knew this was a big game.”
Dunlap scored 13 points but more important, had three blocks, three steals and six rebounds in 34 minutes.
“I told her she has five fouls, use them,” DeRubbo said. “She is so afraid to foul.”
Dunlap clogged the middle on defense and was a force under the basket on offense for W&J. Her layup and foul shot completed a three-point play two minutes into the seocnd half and pushed W&J to a 41-32 lead. When the Yellow jackets made a run, she hit two more layups, the latter pushing the lead to 49-42 with 12:11 left. And another layup, this one at 9:18, capped a 7-0 run that pushed the presidents to a 56-48 bulge.
“I took some chances in the second half,” said Dunlap. a junior. That’s the most aggressive we’ve been. We shot a lot of foul shots.”
W&J made 21 of 34 for 62 percent, something will be brought up before the Presidents travel to Thomas More Saturday for a regular season game.
“We’re around 70 percent,” DeRubbo said. “It seems we either shoot them really well or not real good. We did shoot them well at the end.”
W&J made eight of its last 10 and Dunlap hit seven of 11. Chelsea Apke led W&J with 17 points and Kara Seamon had 13, eight coming from the free throw line. Beka Bellhy also was in dobule figures with 11.
Waynesburg’s Hayden Giuliani led all scorers with 18 points, and Heather Davis came off the bench to score 11.
“W&J has good players,” said Waynesburg head coach Sam Jones. “We wanted to keep the pace fast. We still have five conference games left, so our chances are still good. We just made it harder on ourselves.”