SALEM, Va. – The fourth-seeded Washington and Lee women's basketball team held fifth-seeded Eastern Mennonite to just 29.1 percent (16-55) shooting from the floor in posting a 53-48 win over the Royals in the quarterfinals of the ODAC Tournament on Thursday afternoon at the Salem Civic Center.
The Generals (17-9) jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the opening 4:06 of the game as the defense forced EMU (18-8) into missing its first five shots from the field. Senior forward Shelbi Hendricks (Louisville, Ky. / Kentucky Country Day) and junior guard Jackie Clifford (Tenafly, N.J. / Tenafly) each hit three-pointers and sophomore center Emma Redding (Allentown, Pa. / Central Catholic) added a jumper for the early advantage.
W&L could not stretch the lead greater than the eight-point edge, but held the advantage for much of the first half until the Royals knotted the game at 21-21 with 31 seconds left in the first half on a pair of free throws by senior forward Jess Rheinheimer.
The Royals took their first lead of the contest just 14 seconds into the third period on a Rheinheimer jumper and EMU held a three-point lead (31-28) with 5:26 left in the third following a three-point play by junior center Jonae Guest. Sophomore guard Sa'Mone Moore drilled a triple with 1:58 left in the penultimate quarter to give the Royals a 34-32 lead, but the Generals closed the period with five straight points, coming on a Hendricks jumper and a triple by sophomore guard Emily Perszyk (Greendale, Wis. / Greendale), to carry a 37-34 lead into the fourth period.
The lead changed hands four times in the opening 4:16 of the final period, but the Generals grabbed the lead for good at 45-43 on a jumper by Clifford with 3:42 left in the contest. The W&L advantage grew to five (49-44) on another Clifford basket with 1:31 remaining, but Guest made two layups over the next 59 seconds to make it a one-point game (49-48) with 32 seconds remaining. At that point, the Royals were forced to foul, and senior guard Paige Corvino (Clarendon Hills, Ill. / Fenwick) was perfect from the line, hitting four straight charity tosses in the final 20 seconds to lift W&L to its third win over EMU this season.
The Generals shot just 32.8 percent (21-64) from the floor but committed only nine turnovers and went 7-for-8 (.875) from the foul line. Clifford led the way with 13 points and four blocked shots. Hendricks totaled nine points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals, while sophomore forward Ailyn Kelly (Clifton, Va. / Centreville) notched nine points and eight boards. Perszyk also tallied nine points and Redding boasted eight points.
Rheinheimer and Guest each scored 12 points for the Royals. Rheinheimer added 10 rebounds and Guest notched 14 boards.
Washington and Lee advances to the semifinals on Saturday, when it will take on top-seeded Lynchburg at 1:00 pm.