LEXINGTON, Va. – Senior guard Emily Perszyk (Greendale, Wis. / Greendale) tied a season-high with 28 points to lead the Washington and Lee women's basketball team to a 72-69 victory over Shenandoah on Saturday afternoon at the Warner Center.
Perszyk scored 11 of her points in the first half, as the Generals (15-9, 9-7) carried a seven-point (34-27) lead into the halftime break. W&L used a 10-2 run midway through the second period to pull away for the lead. The surge was keyed by back-to-back three-pointers from sophomore guard Taylor Casey (Brentwood, Tenn. / Franklin Road Academy) and Perszyk with just under four minutes remaining.
The Blue & White pushed the lead out to 12 points (43-31) after a triple from first-year guard Erin Hughes (Raleigh, N.C. / Ravenscroft School) and a pair of free throws by first-year guard Katie Popp (Rye, N.Y. / Rye) with 6:54 left in the third period. The Hornets (11-14, 7-9) tried to make a run, but a Perszyk three-pointer and a pair of free throws by sophomore forward Andy Smithey (Charlotte, N.C. / Saint Mary's School) gave W&L a 50-37 advantage with 4:03 remaining in the third.
W&L carried a 55-47 lead into the final period, but the Hornets continued to chip away at the Generals' advantage. Perszyk gave W&L a 59-53 lead on a layup with 7:03 to play, but SU scored the game's next six points, knotting the score at 59-59 on a layup by senior forward Kirstyn Arcata with 4:19 left. The game was tied again at 61-61 with 3:17 remaining, but once again the Generals had the answer. Casey hit a three-pointer the next time down the floor and the Generals never trailed again.
However, the Blue & White couldn't pull away and Shenandoah had an attempt to take the lead down three with under 30 seconds to go. Sophomore forward Jordon Sondrol was fouled on a three-point attempt that went half-way down and rimmed out. She then stepped to the line with a chance to tie the game, but missed the second of the three free throws, making it a 68-67 game with 14 seconds remaining.
SU fouled Perszyk on the ensuing possession and she made both to give W&L a 70-67 lead with 11 seconds left. The Hornets had another shot at the tie, but sophomore guard Ashley Stone's three-pointer would not fall with six seconds left. Arcata got the offensive rebound for SU and was fouled with 2.7 seconds left. She made both to make it 70-69 and the Hornets fouled Perszyk, who made two more free throws for a 72-69 lead. Arcata's desperation heave from half court fell short and the Generals walked away with the win.
W&L finished the game 27-of-56 (.482) from the field and the Generals committed just 10 turnovers. Perszyk went 10-of-19 from the floor and she added a career-high six steals and three assists. Hughes netted 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting and senior forward Ailyn Kelly (Clifton, Va. / Centreville) notched eight points, eight rebounds, three assists and two blocks.
Shenandoah shot 41.7 percent (25-60) and hit 12-of-13 (.923) free throws. Sondrol finished with 28 points and 11 rebounds to lead the way. Stone totaled 14 points and Arcata had 10 points and six assists.
Washington and Lee returns to action on Monday in the first round of the ODAC Tournament. The Generals will be the fifth-seed and will host 12th-seeded Hollins at 7:00 pm.