SEWANEE, Tenn. – Junior guard Emily Perszyk (Greendale, Wis. / Greendale) tallied 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting to lift the Washington and Lee women's basketball team to an 85-76 victory over Sewanee in the opening day of the Sewanee Holiday Classic on Wednesday evening.
The first half was tightly contested, with the lead changing hands eight times, before the Generals (4-5) grabbed the lead for good with an 11-3 run midway through the second quarter. W&L trailed 28-27 at 5:23 of the second period, but assumed the lead (29-28) on a layup by senior guard Jackie Clifford (Tenafly, N.J. / Tenafly) at 4:46. Persyzk scored five points during the run that saw W&L take a 38-31 lead with 0:49 left en route to a 40-33 advantage at the intermission.
Sewanee (3-6) opened the third period with a 7-2 surge that cut it to a 42-40 game at the 8:25 mark. The Generals couldn't quite gain breathing room until a 12-2 run across the third and fourth periods made it a 66-54 game with 9:09 remaining. First-year guard Taylor Casey (Brentwood, Tenn. / Franklin Road Academy) hit back-to-back three-pointers and junior forward Ailyn Kelly (Clifton, Va. / Centreville) added four points during the run for the Blue & White.
The Tigers chipped away at the W&L lead, eventually cutting it to a three-point game (66-63) on a layup by junior guard Hannah McCormack with 6:22 remaining, but a triple from Perszyk and a pair of free throws by Clifford pushed the lead back to eight (71-63) with 5:23 left.
Sewanee made another run to slice it to a three-point game (75-72) with 2:50 left but a three-point play by Casey pushed it back to a two possession game and the Tigers could get no closer the rest of the way.
W&L shot 48.2 percent (27-56) from the floor and hit 10-of-22 (.455) three-point attempts. The Generals also held a 39-30 advantage on the boards.
Perszyk added five assists to her 24 points, while Casey totaled 15 points. Clifford notched 13 points, nine rebounds and four assists, and junior guard Andrea Ferrero (Ridgefield, Conn. / Ridgefield) registered 11 points and six boards. Kelly chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds.
Sewanee shot 47.3 percent (26-55) from the floor and was paced by 23 points from sophomore guard Bella Taylor. Sophomore guard Corey Caulder added 19 points and McCormack notched 16 markers.
Washington and Lee returns to action on Thursday when it takes on Rhodes at 1:00 CST in the second day of the Sewanee Holiday Classic.