Generals hold off Bridgewater in the fourth to lock up 85-82 home win

Andy Smithey

LEXINGTON, Va. – Junior forward Andy Smithey (Charlotte, N.C./Saint Mary's School) scored a career-high 22 points on Wednesday night to help the Washington and Lee women's basketball team to an 85-82 win over Bridgewater at the Duchossois Tennis Center.

The Generals (11-6, 7-3 ODAC) opened the game on an 8-2 run over the first 3:14 of action, before the Eagles (9-8, 4-6 ODAC) got back to within a point at 8-7 over the next minute of play. Over the final five minutes of the opening frame, both teams exchanged buckets throughout, as W&L held no larger than a three-point lead for the remainder of the quarter and went into the second ahead, 18-15.

A 9-2 run to begin the second quarter gave the Generals a 27-17 lead with just under six minutes to play in the frame, with junior guard Taylor Casey (Brentwood, Tenn./Franklin Road Academy) leading the charge with a bucket and a pair of free throws. But the Eagles countered quickly with an 11-2 run to get back within a point with 3:33 to play in the half.

After Smithey connected on three straight jump shots to give the Generals a 33-28 lead, Bridgewater needed less than a minute to score eight of the next 10 points to take a 36-35 lead with a minute remaining. But W&L did not allow the Eagles to lead for long, as Casey came down and splashed a three pointer with 12 seconds to play to give the Generals a 38-36 halftime lead.

The Eagles held a slight 9-8 edge over the first two and a half minutes of the third, before six straight points from W&L put the Generals back up by eight points. Bridgewater fought to cut its deficit down to five points at the 2:51 mark of the third, but the Generals answered once again with a 10-2 run to close the period, seven points from Casey, to head into the final quarter with a 71-58 lead.

Bridgewater continued its efforts with a 10-2 run over the first 4:38 of the fourth to trim the W&L lead to 73-68, before W&L outscored the Eagles, 9-4, over the next 2:44 of game time to build its lead back to 10 points.

Six straight points from the Eagles brought their deficit down to 82-78 with 39 seconds remaining in the game, followed by a free throw from first-year guard Erin Addison (Waxhaw, N.C./Weddington) and a layup from Bridgewater senior guard Briana Moore to cut the Generals' lead to three points.

The game was then iced away by Casey, who knocked down a pair of free throws with 12 seconds left on the clock, before the final Bridgewater tally fell with under a second.

Casey finished with 26 points, her fifth 20-point effort of the season and second straight game with at least 20, on 9-of-15 shooting from the floor, including 3-for-4 from beyond the arc. She also converted on all five of her free throw attempts to increase her season free throw percentage to .919, second highest in the country.

After scoring a career-high 18 points in the Generals' win on Saturday, Smithey topped herself again with 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting, 8-of-11 on foul shots, and pulled down seven rebounds and came away with three steals. Sophomore guard Erin Hughes (Raleigh, N.C./Ravenscroft School) contributed 15 points and played a key role on the W&L defense, tallying four steals and a career-high six blocks. She made six of her 13 shot attempts in the game and also had four assists.

First-year guard Kate Groninger (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair) scored eight points and first-year guard Megan Horn (Basking Ridge, N.J./The Pingry School) notched a team-high five assists, her sixth game of the season with at least five helpers. Senior guard Andi Carrandi (Atlanta, Ga./Westminster Schools) tallied five points and six boards in 17 minutes off the bench.

The Eagles were led by senior forward Rebecca Harvey and sophomore forward Claire Mocarski, who scored 18 and 16 points, respectively, on 8-of-13 shooting each. Moore and senior center Allie Coburn both scored 10 points and combined for nine rebounds, while sophomore guard Madison Baum scored eight points with six assists and five steals.

For the game, the Generals made 31-of-66 shots (.470) and sank 19-of-24 free throws (.792), the seventh game this season W&L has shot at least 79 percent on its foul shots. Bridgewater converted on 38-of-72 attempts from the field (.528), but connected on just 3-of-6 at the free throw line. The Eagles held advantages over the Generals in points off turnovers (26-13), second-chance points (16-15), points in the paint (62-42) and bench points (20-18), but W&L held a lead in the game for 37:42, while only trailing for 1:05.

The Generals will return to action on Saturday when they travel to Ferrum for a 2:00 pm ODAC matchup.

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