NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - The Westminster College women's basketball team defeated Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) foe Washington and Jefferson College by a score of 72-69 at home on Saturday.
Westminster (11-2, 4-0 PAC) fell behind Washington and Jefferson (7-5, 2-2 PAC), 16-12, at the end of the first quarter. In the second, the Presidents extended their lead to 27-17 at the 6:27 mark, but the Titans responded with a 6-0 run capped off by a layup from junior guard Alazia Greaves (West Sunbury, PA / Moniteau) to cut W&J's lead to 27-23. The Titans trailed W&J by a score of 34-31 heading into halftime. In the second half, Westminster grabbed its first lead since the first quarter when senior forward Kayla Bennett (Kent, OH / Theodore Roosevelt) buried a jumper to give the Titans a 43-41 lead with 5:05 left in the period. Both teams were deadlocked at 51 at the end of three. In the fourth, Westminster held its largest lead of the contest at the 5:08 mark when Greaves knocked down a jumper to make the score 59-54. W&J reclaimed the lead with 57 seconds left by a score of 67-65, but a pair of free throws from each Bennett and sophomore guard Magen Polczynski (Irwin, PA / Norwin) grabbed the lead back for Westminster, 69-67. Trailing by three, W&J had possession with seven seconds remaining and a chance to tie the game. However, Westminster's defense stifled the Presidents' possession, not allowing them to get a shot off and sealing the victory.
Westminster shot 48.8% (20-41) from the field and 38.9% (7-18) from beyond the arc, while W&J had a 37.7% (20-53) field goal percentage and was 36.8% (7-19) from three. The Titans forced 14 turnovers and scored 16 points off of turnovers. Westminster outrebounded the Presidents, 31-28.
Bennett led the way for Westminster with a team-high 19 points on a 5-of-8 mark from the field. Bennett made a career-high nine free throws in the contest and was 9-of-10 from the charity stripe for the game. Greaves tallied 12 points and grabbed a career-high nine rebounds. Polczynski finished in double figures with 11 points. Junior guard Ashley Russell (Belle Vernon, PA / Belle Vernon) and sophomore forward Megan Meyer (New Galilee, PA / New Galilee) each contributed seven points off the bench. Meyer's seven points marked a career-high.
Westminster will be back on the court on Wednesday, January 8 when it takes on Saint Vincent College in a conference matchup at 6 p.m.