Jan. 10, 2009

Courtesy of Washington & Jefferson

WASHINGTON, Pa. – The Washington & Jefferson College women’s basketball team, led by junior point guard Kennan Killeen's (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mt. Lebanon) 16 points, defeated No. 9 Thomas More on Saturday afternoon by a margin of 68-62 at the Henry Memorial Center.  W&J increased its win streak to nine games.  

With the victory, the Presidents assume sole possession of first place in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference standings.

Thomas More opened the scoring with a three-pointer from senior guard Jamie Thiem (Cold Spring, Ky./Newport Central Catholic) at the 17:24 mark of the first half, but the Presidents scored 20 of the next 26 points during a seven-minute span to grab a 20-9 lead.

The Saints chipped away at W&J’s lead and got even at 30 a piece with just over three minutes remaining on the clock.  After two made free throws from Killeen, Thomas More senior forward Kristen Humphrey (New Richmond, Ohio/Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy) took a pass from freshman forward Lauren Hargett (Verona, Ky./Walton-Verona) and nailed a three pointer as the first half clock hit zero to give TMC a 39-36 advantage at intermission.

The Presidents were led in the first half by freshman forward Ashley Kirkpatrick (Sharon, Pa./Kennedy Catholic), who scored 11 points, while junior forward Maggie Gibson (Greensburg, Pa./Greensburg C.C.) led W&J on the glass with eight rebounds.  Humphrey and Thiem both scored nine points in the first half for TMC.

Thomas More (11-2, 5-1 PAC) built its lead up to six points early in the second half, but the Presidents rallied back and assumed its first lead of the second half at 46-44 after junior guard Stephanie Smith (Grove City, Ohio/Grove City) connected on a triple at the 15:36 mark.

W&J used timely baskets and solid defense to hold onto the lead for the remainder of the second half.  Killeen sealed the game in the final minute of action, knocking down a jumper with only 25 seconds left to play to give W&J a 66-62 advantage.  Gibson added two free throw attempts in the final seconds, for the six-point PAC victory.

Gibson finished the contest with eight points and a game-high 15 rebounds, while Kirkpatrick scored a career-high 13 to go along with four rebounds.  

Thiem finished the game with 17 points and nine rebounds, while Humphrey added 16 points and seven boards.

The Presidents (12-1, 5-0 PAC) shot 40 percent (25-of-62) from the field and 55 percent (6-of-11) from beyond the arc, while Thomas More shot 43 percent (23-of-54) from the field and 35 percent (8-of-23) from three-point range.  The Presidents held a 37-32 advantage on the glass.

The Presidents will next play on Wednesday evening when they host Saint Vincent.  Tip-off from the Henry Memorial Center is scheduled for 6:00 pm.