SALEM, Va. – Sophomore forward Andy Smithey (Charlotte, N.C. / Saint Mary's School) scored a career-high 16 points and pulled down eight rebounds to lead the fifth-seeded Washington and Lee women's basketball team to a 79-77 victory over fourth-seeded Guilford in the quarterfinals of the ODAC Tournament on Thursday afternoon at the Salem Civic Center.
The Generals (17-9) used a 15-7 run midway through the second period to take a 45-26 advantage with 3:22 remaining in the first half. First-year guard Katie Popp (Rye, N.Y. / Rye) was key during the run, totaling five points, and senior forward Emma Redding (Allentown, Pa. / Central Catholic) scored four. W&L maintained a healthy advantage the remainder of the second and took a 49-32 lead into intermission.
Redding drained back-to-back buckets to start the third, and then senior forward Ailyn Kelly (Clifton, Va. / Centreville) hit 1-of-2 free throws at the 7:11 mark to give the Generals their largest lead of the game (54-32). Guilford (17-6) answered with six points to cut the gap to 56-38 with 5:48 remaining, with four points coming from first-year center Monell Dunlap.
The teams traded baskets over the next three minutes with the Generals maintaining at least a 15-point lead. The Quakers closed the stanza with four points to cut W&L's advantage to 13 points (64-51) heading into the final period.
Guilford blitzed the Blue and White with an 11-2 run to pull within four (66-62) with 6:36 to go in the game, but Smithey canned a pair of free throws to put the Generals back up six (68-62) with 6:11 left.
The lead was still six a few minutes later, but then sophomore guard Miracle Walters registered an old-fashioned three-point play to cut the W&L advantage to 72-69 with 3:12 remaining. After exchanging baskets over the next couple of possessions, a jumper by Redding with the shot clock winding down extended the Generals' lead to 78-73 with 50 seconds remaining in the contest.
Guilford quickly pushed the ball down the court, and a layup by senior guard Lauren Ramsay just nine seconds later pulled the Quakers to within three (78-75). W&L worked the clock down on its next possession, but came up empty on a three-pointer with 13 seconds left in the game.
First-year guard Jasmine McBride secured the rebound for Guilford and raced down to the other end, registering a layup with nine seconds on the clock to trim the W&L lead to one (78-77).
After advancing the ball following a timeout, Popp was fouled with seven seconds left, but she hit just one-of-two free throws to give W&L a two-point lead. The Quakers went the length of the court following the missed free throw, but Ramsey's potential game-tying layup came up short as time expired and W&L held on for the win.
For the contest, W&L shot 49.2 percent (31-63) from the floor and hit 6-of-14 (.429) from beyond the arc. Smithey went 7-of-9 from the field and also dished out three assists. Popp tallied 13 points and four assists, while Redding finished with 13 points and five boards. Kelly and senior guard Emily Perszyk (Greendale, Wis. / Greendale) each added 11 points.
Guilford shot 44.3 percent (31-70) from the field, but hit just 2-of-10 (.200) from the three-point line. Ramsey led the Quakers with 22 points and nine rebounds, while Walters and Abraham each added 16 points.
Washington and Lee advances to the semifinals on Saturday, when it will take on top-seeded Emory & Henry at 1:00 pm.
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