SALEM, Va. – Amy Steller scored 17 points and Heaven Walters added 16 points and 10 rebounds in Guilford College's 79-69 win over Emory & Henry College in Saturday's Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Basketball Tournament semifinal at the Salem Civic Center.
The second-seeded Quakers (21-4) advance to Sunday's tournament final to play top-seeded Lynchburg College (23-4), a 71-57 winner over Washington and Lee University in Saturday's first semifinal contest. Guilford is making its fourth ODAC Tournament final appearance in the last five years and its seventh overall. Lynchburg returns to the final for the second straight season.
Steller hit the first of her four three-pointers 13 seconds into the game and the Quakers never trailed. Emory & Henry (19-8) shot 75 percent from the floor and Guilford 57 percent in a high-scoring first quarter that ended with Guilford front, 29-23. The third-seeded Wasps cooled in the second quarter, while Steller and Walters remained hot to help Guilford extend its advantage to 46-32 at intermission. Walters had 12 first-half points and Steller added 11, thanks to three three-pointers.
A Lauren Ramsey jumper started the second-half scoring and gave Guilford its largest lead of the game, 48-32. The Quakers maintained a double-figure lead for much of the third quarter before Emory & Henry rallied. An 11-2 Wasps' spurt late in the period got the deficit down to five points before two Kayla Scott free throws gave Guilford a 64-57 edge after three quarters.
Megan Jacoby's three-pointer with 5:04 left in regulation prompted a Guilford timeout and drew Emory & Henry to within 68-66. The teams exchanged turnovers over two scoreless minutes before a key defensive sequence led to two quick Quakers' buckets. Rookie Essence Abraham made a steal and drove the length of the floor for a layup. The Wasps turned it over on the ensuing inbounds pass and Guilford's Anais Weatherly scored in the lane for a 72-66 Quakers' edge with 2:30 left.
Emory & Henry made one field goal and scored three points in the final five minutes as the Quakers closed the game on an 11-3 run.
Ramsey and Weatherly both finished with 13 points as Guilford had four double-figure scorers. Walters added a game-high 10 boards for her third double-double of the year. Weatherly had seven boards, along with three assists, four steals and a block. Guilford got key contributions off the bench from the likes of Jordyn Brown, who contributed eight points and five boards. She had six points and four rebounds in the first half while Weatherly was out with two fouls. Fellow reserve Kayla Scott chipped in four points, five rebounds and five assists. Guilford turned the ball over just nine times, compared to the Wasps' 16 miscues that led to 21 Quakers' points.
Farr paced Emory & Henry with 18 points and 10 boards, both game highs, but also turned the ball over seven times. Jacoby finished with 13 points, seven boards and six assists. Taylor Blevins added 10 points and eight boards.
The winner of Sunday's championship game earns the ODAC's automatic NCAA Division III Tournament bid. The full 64-team field will be announced Monday (2/29) at 2:30 p.m. on NCAA.com. Guilford is seeded second in the current Division III South Region Rankings, one spot ahead of Lynchburg. Emory & Henry was ranked ninth in the poll.