W&L Women's Basketball Notes - Week 6

W&L Women's Basketball Notes - Week 6

Game 8:
Saturday, December 29 - 4:00 pm

PDF version of notes here.

Christine Clancy (Brandeis  '06) is in her first season as the head coach at Washington and Lee after serving as the assistant coach last year.  Before W&L, Clancy spent three years at Colby College, serving as an interim head coach in her final season. As head coach of the Mules, Clancy guided the team to a 22-6 overall record and an NCAA Tournament berth where they advanced to the second round. Clancy holds a 3-4 (.429) overall record at the helm of the Generals.

The Washington and Lee women's basketball program is participating in its 20th varsity season during the 2012-13 school year.  Over that period of time, the Generals have compiled a 218-271 (.446) overall record and have won one Old Dominion Athletic Conference title (2010).

(W&L 72, SVCC 15 • Lexington, Va. • 12/16/12)
Washington and Lee held Southside Virginia Community College to just 15 points, as the Generals claimed a 72-15 victory over the Panthers at the Warner Center. W&L jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first 29 seconds of the contest off two layups by first-year guard Paige Corvino. SVCC guard Stephanie Harris put the Panthers on the board with a basket at 19:07 (4-2), but the Generals answered with a 26-0 run to bring the score to 30-2 with 8:20 left in the half. Harris made another shot at the 7:59 mark (30-4), only to have the Blue and White tally 13 more points in the half and enter the break with a 43-4 advantage. The Generals held SVCC to just 14.8 percent shooting (4-27) in the second period, as W&L cruised to its first win since November 18. As a team, W&L shot 47.8 percent from the field (32-67), its best shooting percentage this season. Senior forward Rachel Warrick and senior guard Megan Marks each totaled a game-high 19 points. Marks also recorded seven rebounds, five steals and three assists, and Warrick registered three steals, three boards and three assists. First-year forward Wesleigh Vick notched double-digit points with 10, while grabbing nine rebounds. Harris led the Panthers with eight points and center Shona Washington collected a game-high 12 rebounds.

W&L and Sewanee have faced off twice, with the all-time series knotted at a 1-1 tie. The two teams last met during the 1995-96 season when the Generals opened their season with a 50-40 loss to the Tigers on November 18.

Sewanee is entering this week's contest with a 4-3 overall record following a 55-46 win over Johnson on December 8. Four different players scored in double-digits for the Tigers, including double-doubles from sophomore forward Kayla Sewell (15 pts., 12 reb.) and senior guard Dee Bradford (11 pts., 10 reb.). Despite its success, Sewanee shot just 28.2 percent (20-71) from the floor and 16.7 percent (6-36) from three-point range. On the season, Sewell leads the team with 11.7 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 3.4 bpg and 2.3 apg. Junior guard Paige Lowe adds 11.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg and 1.3 spg, and junior guard Clarissa Medley records 6.6 ppg and 5.9 rpg.

The classroom isn't the only place senior forwards Rachel Warrick and Katy Wilson have been reaching for the books, as they have also made a dent in the W&L record books during their last three seasons. Combined, the two captains are present on four of W&L's Top 10 career lists. Wilson's 47.0 percent (319-679) mark from the field puts her third for career field goal percentage, and she is also sixth in career rebounds (665) and eighth career blocked shots (52). Warrick sits sixth for career free throw percentage, shooting 76.3 percent (142-186) from the foul line.

Stealing the ball has become quite normal for W&L early on, as it is averaging more than three more steals per game than its opponents, 9.6-6.3. Senior forward Katy Wilson and senior guard Megan Marks are the biggest theft artists, collecting 15 steals this season. In the win over Chatham, four different Generals ended the game with two or more steals, including four by first-year guard Alena Hamrick.

In its seven games, W&L showed off its defensive skills. The Generals have held their opponents to just 31.0 percent (118-381) shooting from the field and allowed just 43.0 points per game to lead the ODAC in scoring defense and rank 20th in Division III. Against Southside Virginia Community College, W&L gave up a mere 15 points and just 34 points against Roanoke, the lowest point totals allowed by the Blue and White since the 2006-07 season when it defeated Randolph, 71-34. Only two teams have recorded over 50 points against W&L this season, as Mary Washington notched 56 points and Guilford tallied 60.

Washington and Lee has done a fantastic job of defending the three-point arc this season, allowing its opponents to shoot just 18-93 (.194) from beyond the arc to lead the league in three-point field goal percentage defense. In the 61-39 win over Chatham, the Generals held the Cougars without a three-pointer made in nine attempts. Southside Virginia Community College shot just 1-for-14 (.071) from long range and Cabrini hit just 2-of-12 attempts (.167). Johns Hopkins was also stifled from distance, making just 2-of-15 shots (.133).

Rebounding has not been the Generals' strong suit thus far as W&L carries a -4.4 rebounding margin (41.3-36.9) through the first seven games. The Generals have had a particularly tough time on the defensive end, where they have allowed a combined 97 offensive rebounds, surrendering a total of 58 second-chance points.

During the 2012-13 campaign, the Blue and White will face four teams that competed in the 2011-12 NCAA Division III Tournament. Combined, the four teams recorded a 6-4 mark in the tournament, with Mary Washington advancing the furthest with a loss to finalist George Fox in the quarterfinal round, 68-45. Against the 2012 Centennial Conference Champion, Johns Hopkins, the Generals dropped a 47-42 decision, and then they fell to then-No. 19 Mary Washington, 56-38, on the road. W&L hosted Guilford for its first home contest on December 1, dropping a 60-45 decision. The Generals will face one more tournament team in York (Pa.) on January 24.

The Generals' defense seems to determine the outcome of all the contests thus far. In all three wins this season, the Blue and White held opponents to under 40 points, while each loss resulted in opponents scoring more than 40 points. W&L allowed a season-low 15 points to Southside Virginia Community College in a 57-15 victory, and also held Roanoke to 34 points (46-34) and Chatham to 39 points (61-39) in the wins.

The Generals' six contests have been decided by an average of 20.7 points, regardless of a win or loss. W&L's season-opener featured a 12-point victory over ODAC-foe Roanoke to start 2012-13 with a 1-0 record. At the Swarthmore Tip-Off Tournament, W&L claimed a 1-1 mark on the weekend, scoring just 34 points in the first contest against Cabrini and losing by 16 points (50-34). In the consolation round, the Generals eased frustrations from the night before to fly past Chatham, 61-39, and win by 22 points. W&L then dropped the next three games, losing to Johns Hopkins by five points (47-42), Mary Washington by 18 (56-38) and finally falling to Guilford by 15 points (60-45). The Blue and White rebounded from the losses with a 57-point victory (72-15) over Southside Virginia Community College on December 16.

When comparing statistics in the two wins this season to the four losses, the Generals' numbers drastically improve in the victories. In steals alone, W&L almost triples their average per game by recording 15.0 steals per win, but just 5.5 in the dropped contests. The shooting troubles are highlighted in the losses as W&L shoots 28.8 percent (61-212) from the floor in the four games, while improving to 40.6 percent (76-187) from the field in the three wins. In points scored, the Generals are scoring almost 20 more points per game in wins (59.7), as opposed to the 39.8 ppg they are averaging in the losses.

The Generals seem to be off to a rough start to the 2012-13 season with a 3-4 record, but this has been the case four out of the last five years for the program. Only during the 2010-11 campaign did the Blue and White post a winning mark after the first seven games. There is reason for hope, as three of the four times the team held a losing record at this point they came back around and finished the season above .500.

The senior class, made of forwards Rachel Warrick and Katy Wilson and guard Megan Marks, has shown its talent and experience this season, as all three hold some of the top team marks in multiple categories. Wilson leads the Generals in rebounds per game (7.7) and steals per game (2.1), while her 10.1 ppg are second on the team. She is also the only General to have recorded a double-double this season. Warrick's 41.4 percent (24-58) shooting mark from the field is tops for W&L and her 8.1 ppg are third. With 2.1 steals per game, Marks shares the lead with Wilson and her 3.7 rpg are second.

In the first two games of December, the Generals are noticing an upward trend in performance. Compared to the first two contests of November, W&L has drastically improved in shooting percentage and total points. In the first two games of the season, the Blue and White shot 31.1 percent (32-103) from the field, while improving to 40.6 percent (52-128) in December. Against Roanoke and Cabrini at the beginning of November, the Generals averaged 40.0 ppg, compared to the 58.5 ppg in the pair of contests in December.

The key to success for the Generals could be the abiltiy to take an early lead. In all three victories this season, W&L has held the lead at the half. Only once has it dropped a contest while walking into the break with an advantage.


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