LYNCHBURG, Va. – After overcoming a 13-point second-quarter deficit, the Washington and Lee women's basketball team relinquished a nine-point fourth period lead in its 75-69 loss on the road to ODAC-foe Lynchburg on Monday night.
With W&L leading by nine points entering the final frame, the Hornets scored the first 12 points of the period over the first 3:22. Over the next four minutes of play, the Generals stayed close and eventually tied the contest at 65-65 after a pair of free throws from sophomore guard Erin Hughes (Raleigh, N.C./Ravenscroft School).
Two layups on the next two possessions for the Hornets put Lynchburg back ahead for good, however, as the Generals were unable gain further ground before time ran out.
Trailing by just five points entering the third quarter, W&L took six of the first 11 points over the first three and a half minutes to gain some ground on the Hornets. After a Lynchburg layup, the Generals scored 13 straight points over a 3:06 span to take a 48-39 lead. First-year guard Kate Groninger (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair) led the way during the run with five points, including a three pointer at 5:21 which tied the game, 39-39.
Both the Generals and Hornets scored six points apiece after that point as the Generals took a 54-45 lead into the fourth.
After both sides scored two points to begin the second, Lynchburg scored five straight points to increase its lead to a game-high 13 points, 26-13, with 6:13 left in the half. But the Generals came storming back when Hughes laid in a bucket, followed by a free throw from junior guard Taylor Casey (Brentwood, Tenn./Franklin Road Academy). Then, after a pair of Lynchburg free throws, Casey led the Generals on an 8-0 run, splashing home triples on back-to-back possessions, to go along with two free throws, to cut the deficit down to four points.
The overall run for the Generals late in the second quarter was 16-6, to bring the Lynchburg lead down to three points, before a layup at the buzzer from Hornets' first-year guard Lizzie Davis gave the Hornets an extra two-point cushion before the half.
The game was evenly matched through nearly the first seven minutes of the opening quarter, as both teams scored 11 points apiece. From that point on, however, the Hornets outscored W&L, 8-0, for the rest of the period to take an eight-point lead into the second.
Hughes and junior forward Andy Smithey (Charlotte, N.C./Saint Mary's School) paced the W&L offense with 14 points apiece. Hughes added five boards and four steals to her line, while Smithey shot 5-for-10 from the field and pulled down eight rebounds, plus two assists and two steals.
Casey finished with 13 points on 4-for-10 shooting and first-year guard Jordan Diehl (Springboro, Ohio/Springboro) tallied 12 points on 5-of-7 from the field, five rebounds and two steals.
The Hornets were led by first-year center Kate Kolb, who notched 21 points on 9-of-11 from the floor with seven rebounds. Davis also turned in a strong game as she scored 17 points in addition to four rebounds.
Lynchburg shot 46.6 percent (27-of-58) from the floor in the game, including 75 percent (9-of-12) in the fourth quarter to edge the Generals, who finished at 38.5 percent (25-of-65) in the contest. The Hornets also edged W&L in points in the paint (42-36), second-chance points (11-6) and bench points (36-15). W&L held the fast-break points advantage at 11-4.
The Generals will be back in action on Wednesday night when they travel to Randolph for a 7:00 pm ODAC tip.
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