Frigid shooting day dooms Virginia Wesleyan in ODAC title game
SALEM, Va. – Matters did not go swimmingly for the Virginia Wesleyan College women's basketball Marlins in Sunday's 2012 Old Dominion Athletic Conference championship game at the Civic Center.
Guilford College's Quakers jumped out to an early 6-0 lead and stayed in front to the final buzzer, capitalizing on the worst shooting afternoon of the season by the Marlins, to post a 57-40 victory in the title game.
The key to the Guilford win was easy to detect…Virginia Wesleyan hit only 17.8 percent of its field goal attempts. The Marlins got plenty of shots, out-shooting the Quakers 73-56, but attempts that usually scored for VWC refused to drop.
Now the waiting game begins for Virginia Wesleyan, at least until Monday, when the NCAA announces the 64-team field for the upcoming Division III championship tournament. Virginia Wesleyan, hoping for an at-large bid, is currently 22-6 and ranked No. 3 in the South Region.
Virginia Wesleyan came on strong in the second half, battling back to pull within six points after Guilford (22-6) built a 34-18 lead with 16 minutes remaining to be played. Sophomore Katie Tassa (Bristow, Va./Manassas Osbourn Park) jumpstarted a cold Marlin offense with a pair of baskets and the rest of the Marlins followed suit. Senior Kristen Blalock (Suffolk, Va./Portsmouth Christian) hit five points in the run, including a triple from the right that made it a 41-31 game with 11:03 still on the clock.
Sophomore Symonne Newsome (Reistertown, Md./St. Paul's School for Girls) and rookie Sarah Seipp (Gaithersburg, Md./Gaithersburg) added points to the rally, as did rookie Brittany Glasco (Fredericksburg, Md./Massaponax), who scored five points, including two free throws that pulled VWC within a 43-37 score with 8:44 to play.
But, Virginia Wesleyan hit another cold spell that allowed Guilford to wiggle out of a tight spot. A Glasco layup with 9:20 remaining in the game was the last field goal of the contest for the Marlins until the 1:09 mark when senior ShawneeLewis (Alexandria, Va./Thomas A. Edison) nailed a three-pointer.
Seipp, the 2012 ODAC Rookie of the Year, was the only Marlin to score in double figures, finishing with 11 points. Glasco added nine and Blalock tallied seven.
Guilford, which hit 41% from the field, was led by Jazlyn Gibbs (Greensboro, N.C./Southeast Guilford) with 19 points, Morgan King (Wilmington, N.C./New Hanover) with 12, and Gabby Oglesby (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mount Tabor) with 10. King also led the Quakers with 11 rebounds and Brittany Atwater (Durham, N.C./Ravenscroft) added 10.
2012 ODAC All-Tournment Team
Jazlyn Gibbs (Guilford)
Sarah Seipp (Virginia Wesleyan
Morgan King (Guilford)
Kristen Blalock (Virginia Wesleyan)
Gabby Oglesby (Guilford, tournament MVP)