SALEM, Va. – Senior guard Emily Perszyk (Greendale, Wis. / Greendale) scored a game-high 21 points, but it was not enough as top-seeded Emory & Henry claimed a 64-60 victory over fifth-seeded Washington and Lee in the semifinals of the ODAC Women's Basketball Tournament on Saturday afternoon at the Salem Civic Center.
Emory & Henry (22-5) held the largest lead of the game (54-45) with 1:18 left in the third period following a made layup by junior forward Laken Blackburn. The Generals (17-10) cut the advantage to seven heading into the final period after first-year guard Katie Popp (Rye, N.Y. / Rye) hit a pair of free throws.
W&L opened up the fourth with a 7-1 run to pull within one (55-54) with 6:26 remaining in the game. Perszyk got the spurt started with a layup and Popp tallied the final five points of the run on a layup and three-pointer.
E&H held a 61-58 edge with 2:47 left, but Perszyk hit a jumper on W&L's next possession down the floor to cut the lead to one (61-60) with 2:35 remaining. Both teams came up empty on the next four possessions, with the Wasps maintaining the one-point lead with 44 seconds left.
Junior forward Taylor Blevins was fouled with 27 seconds remaining and hit the first of two free throws to give E&H a 62-60 lead. Blevins missed the second and the Generals secured the rebound and called a timeout to advance the ball. After using up 10 seconds of the clock, W&L attempted to pass the ball along the baseline, but it was stolen by Emory & Henry sophomore forward Sydney McKinney, who was then fouled with 10 seconds remaining.
McKinney hit both free throws to make it a two-possession game. W&L raced down the court and shot a three, but it came up short as time expired and E&H held on for the win.
The game featured four ties and 14 lead changes with neither team claiming a decisive advantage throughout the first 20 minutes of action. Emory & Henry held a slim 32-31 edge at halftime.
The Generals shot 45.5 percent (20-44) from the floor, but hit just 3-of-11 (.273) from beyond the arc. W&L held a 38-27 advantage on the boards, but committed 19 turnovers compared to E&H's nine. Perszyk went 8-of-13 from the floor and hit 5-of-6 from the foul line. Popp added 12 points, while senior forward Emma Redding (Allentown, Pa. / Central Catholic) finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.
The Wasps shot 37.3 percent (22-59) from the field and hit 5-of-16 (.313) from beyond the arc. McKinney paced E&H with 14 points, while Blevins added 10 points and four rebounds.
With the loss, the Generals season is now completed. W&L finished the year 17-10 overall and 9-7 in ODAC play.
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