Women's Basketball's fourth-quarter rally comes up short in 68-60 loss to Lynchburg

Andy Smithey

LEXINGTON, Va. – The Washington and Lee women's basketball team's second-half rally came up short in the closing minutes, falling to Lynchburg, 68-60, on Tuesday evening at the Duchossois Tennis Center.

The Generals (3-2, 1-1 ODAC) jumped out to an early 5-0 lead before the Hornets (2-4, 1-0 ODAC) answered back with five points of their own to knot the game midway through the opening frame. After a quick 9-4 run gave W&L another five-point lead, Lynchburg outscored W&L, 10-5, over the final 4:58 as the teams headed into the second quarter tied, 19-19.

Lynchburg's strong defensive play through the first half of the second quarter helped the Hornets gain a six-point lead, outscoring the Generals 8-2 over the first 6:02. Another short 6-2 run propelled the Hornets ahead by 10 points, their largest lead of the half, before the Generals closed the frame on a 7-0 run to pull within three points going into halftime.

A steady 11-6 run over the first four minutes of the third had the Generals back out in front, 41-39, with 5:03 remaining in the quarter, before the Hornets took off on a 16-2 run that spanned into the fourth quarter to take a 55-43 advantage with 9:35 to play.

W&L did not go down without a fight, as from the 9:35 mark until there was 3:06 remaining in the game, the Generals outscored the Hornets, 11-3, to pull back to within four points at 58-54. Lynchburg found its stroke again, however, scoring 10 points over the final three minutes, including six made free throws in the final 30 seconds, to yield the final margin.

First-year guard Megan Horn (Basking Ridge, N.J. / The Pingry School) scored a game-high 22 points on 9-of-19 shooting from the field, including 4-of-10 on three pointers, to go along with a pair of rebounds and two assists. Junior guard Taylor Casey (Brentwood, Tenn. / Franklin Road Academy) finished the contest with 14 points on 6-of-15 from the field, 2-of-7 from long range, and also had two rebounds and assists.

Junior forward Andy Smithey (Charlotte, N.C. / Saint Mary's School) tallied 11 points and contributed four rebounds and three assists, while sophomore forward Erin Hughes (Raleigh, N.C. / Ravenscroft School) scored eight points. First-year guard Jordan Diehl (Springboro, Ohio / Springboro) pulled in a team- and season-high 10 rebounds, while also dishing out three assists and coming away with a pair of steals.

The Hornets were paced by senior forward Molly Shephard, who logged a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double, while sophomore guard Maggie Quarles led the team with 15 points, plus five assists. First-year guard Emily Elliott scored 11 points and first-year guard Lizzie Davis and first-year center Erin Green notched 10 points each off the bench.

Lynchburg edged the Generals in shooting for the game, connecting on 27-of-53 attempts from the field (.509) compared to 25-of-71 for W&L (.352). The Generals limited Lynchburg to just 21.4-percent shooting from long range (3-for-14), but only hit 2-of-4 free throw attempts after shooting 88.0-percent on 18.8 attempts per game entering the contest.

For the game, the Hornets edged the Generals in rebounds (41-35), points in the paint (46-32) and bench points (20-10), but W&L held the advantages in turnover margin (22-17), points off turnovers (19-16), second-chance points (12-9) and fastbreak points (9-6).

The Generals will get back on the court on Saturday when they host Emory & Henry in an ODAC contest scheduled for 2:00 pm.

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