Strong start propels W&J women's basketball to eighth straight win

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WASHINGTON, Pa. (Jan. 12) - Sophomore forward Alie Seto (Allison, Pa. / Brownsville) recorded a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead the W&J women's basketball team to a 71-49 runaway victory over visiting Bethany College in Presidents' Athletic Conference play. 

The win was the eighth straight for the surging Presidents, who improve to 6-1 in conference play and 10-5 overall. The loss drops Bethany to 4-3 in league contests and 9-7 overall. 

W&J jumped out to an early 8-0 lead as sophomore guard Lauren Gilbert (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Baldwin) set the tone for the game with an early three-point field goal. Seto followed with a layup before sophomore guard Hannah Johnston(East Freedom, Pa. / Central) added three points to force a Bethany timeout at the 6:44 mark of the first quarter.

After two Bison free throws cut the President lead to five points (13-8), W&J closed the quarter with an 12-0 run to take a 25-8 advantage after 10 minutes. Back-to-back triples by Gilbert and Seto pushed the President lead into double figures at 19-8 with 1:38 left in the quarter. W&J then used two points each from senior forward Danielle Parker (Canonsburg, Pa / Canon-McMillan), sophomore forward Maria Lawhorne (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Plum) and freshman guard Aleena McDaniel (Morgantown, W.Va. / Morgantown) to close the run. 

A pair of successful free throws by Lawhorne allowed W&J to extend the lead to 27-8 after the initial possession of the second quarter. Bethany would battle back during the remainder of the quarter, outscoring the Presidents by an 18-8 margin to trail by single digits at halftime. Seto recorded 12 points and eight rebounds in the first half to lead W&J to a 35-26 halftime edge. 

Seto continued that strong play early in the third quarter as the sophomore recorded a layup then added a three-point play to spark a 9-0 run out of the break and extend the W&J lead to 44-26. The Presidents would lead by at least 16 points the rest of the way. Back-to-back layups from freshman guard Kylie McKennen (Triadelphia, W.Va. / Wheeling Park) and McDaniel pushed the lead to 20 (48-28) with 4:10 left in the third. 

A successful three-point field goal by freshman guard Carlee Stelter (Wampum, Pa. / Mohawk) closed the third quarter with the Presidents in front. by a 56-32 score. A jumper by freshman guard Tori Boalton (Boyertown, Pa. / Boyertown Area) extended the lead to 64-36 at the 7:25 mark of the third. The 28-point advantage was the largest of the contest for the Presidents. 

Gilbert joined Seto in double figures with 10 points. Gilbert also added four assists and two steals to her stat sheet. Parker recorded seven points, five rebounds and four steals. McKennen dished out a game-high five assists without committing a turnover and added three steals. 

W&J was strong once again defensively, limiting the Bison to 49 points in the contest, the second fewest this season for the Green and White. Bethany converted just 31.4 percent of its field goal attempts, combining to make just three-of-24 attempts in the first and third quarters. The Bison also connected on just one three-point attempt in 16 attempts.

W&J heads to Grove City College for a league tilt with the Wolverines on Wednesday, Jan. 16. Tip-off is slated for 5:30 p.m.