Generals fall to Mount Union on day one at NYU Holiday Classic

Megan Horn

NEW YORK – The Washington and Lee women's basketball team was unable to recover from a second-half deficit, falling to Mount Union, 86-73, on the first day of the NYU Holiday Classic at Hunter.

The first quarter was a tightly contested opening frame as neither team could string together more than two straight scores until a 9-2 Mount Union (9-2) run late in the quarter gave the Purple Raiders a 26-23 lead with 1:20 left. The Generals (6-4) trailed by just one point going into the second quarter after junior forward Andy Smithey (Charlotte, N.C./Saint Mary's School) connected on a jumper with 49 seconds left in the period.

Two more scores for the Generals put them back ahead of Mount Union, 29-26, with 4:55 remaining in the second quarter. W&L did not allow the Purple Raiders to get on the board in the second until the 4:39 mark, as Mount Union went on a 10-6 run to regain a slight 38-35 margin with 2:14 on the clock. Both teams scored a basket each to close the half with Mount Union leading, 40-37.

The third quarter began with a 9-2 run from Mount Union to give the Purple Raiders their largest lead of the game to that point, 49-39. But the Generals answered with a 9-2 run of their own, with the first six points coming from first-year guard Megan Horn (Basking Ridge, N.J./The Pingry School), plus a triple from sophomore guard/forward Erin Hughes (Raleigh, N.C./Ravenscroft School) to get the deficit back down to three points. Mount Union went on to end the quarter on a 13-3 run to increase its lead to 64-51 going into the final quarter.

After the Mount Union lead stretched to 15 points early in the fourth, the Generals countered with an 11-3 run to trail just 74-67 with 5:11 to play. But the Purple Raiders sealed the win with a 10-2 run over the next 3:18, running their lead to 84-69, before the final tallies came to close the game.

Hughes led the Generals with 19 points, her third consecutive game with at least 19 points. She made seven of her 11 shot attempts in the game, including 5-of-8 shots from beyond the arc, to go along with a pair of assists and three steals. Junior guard Taylor Casey (Brentwood, Tenn./Franklin Road Academy) tallied 16 points on 6-of-15 shooting from the field, including a pair of three pointers, putting her career total at 119, one shy of tying Allie Long '11 for fifth in program history.

Smithey logged 14 points on 4-for-6 shooting from the field, including 12 points on 4-for-4 shooting in the first half. Horn rounded out the double-digit scorers for W&L as the first-year guard notched 10 points with two rebounds, three assists, a season-high five steals and two blocks.

The Purple Raiders were paced by senior guard Rachel Tinkey, who scored 29 points on 10-of-19 shooting from the field and 7-of-10 from long range. Tinkey also pulled down 11 boards to record her first double-double of the season. Sophomore forward Sarah Hessel chipped in a 10-point, 12-rebound double-double and made four of her six shots.

Mount Union outrebounded W&L, 49-17, and held advantages for the game in points off turnovers (15-14), points in the paint (38-28) and second-chance points (18-2). The game saw four ties and seven lead changes.

The Generals will return to action on Sunday when they will face-off with NYU at 2:00 pm to finish the Holiday Classic.

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