It was rivalry night at the Rudy Marisa Fieldhouse on Wednesday evening.
The Washington and Jefferson College Presidents’ (8-3, 5-0), the No. 1 team in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC), faced off against the Waynesburg University Yellow Jackets (1-10, 1-4), who dropped their previous three matchups heading into the game.
Three straight losses turned to four straight as the Presidents held on to win 75-64.
“Take no credit away from (W&J) because they are a very good team,” Waynesburg head coach Sam Jones said. “They’re 5-0 in the conference and in first place for a reason.”
W&J held the advantage 43-31 at halftime.
“We dug ourselves too big of a hole early with a really sluggish start and then not-so-great first half,” Jones said.
In the second half, however, The Yellow Jackets gave the Presidents a run for their money.
As Waynesburg trailed 49-41 halfway through the third quarter, a layup and a three-pointer from senior guard Kacey Kastroll put the Yellow Jackets within three at 49-46.
“When I started driving in and getting to the foul line, that really opened up a broad expansion of points to come in,” Kastroll said.
Kastroll led all scorers with 21 points, going 3-6 from beyond the arc and a perfect 6-6 from the free-throw line.
W&J’s impeccable outside shooting and second-chance efforts, however, contributed to the Presidents’ win. The team also totaled 11 made three-pointers compared to six for Waynesburg.
In fact, W&J shot a higher three-point percentage (39.3) than field-goal percentage (35).
“We limited their second chances in that stretch,” Jones said. “Towards the end, we didn’t limit those chances, and that kind of buried us.”
Waynesburg never led at any point during the game.
W&J senior guard Kamryn Lach led the Presidents with 16 points and went 4-7 from long range.
The Presidents’ bench was one of the biggest contributing factors in the win, registering 40 of the team’s 75 points.
Senior guard Aleena McDaniel knocked in 15 points, and junior forward Maddi Gutierrez put in 12 points of her own. The duo also combined for five triples.
The road win keeps W&J in the top spot, untouched in the PAC standings. The Presidents currently sit at 8-3 overall with a perfect 5-0 conference record.
The Yellow Jackets find themselves in the ninth spot with a 1-10 overall record and a 1-4 conference mark.
The one thing that Waynesburg is looking to improve upon:
“Attention to detail. Period. End of statement on both ends of the floor,” Jones said.
Waynesburg looks to get back on track with two straight away games on the schedule.
The Yellow Jackets take on the Geneva Golden Tornadoes at The Metheny Fieldhouse on Saturday, Jan. 15 in another conference matchup beginning at 2 p.m.
The game will be broadcast on WCYJ-FM. Carter Newcome and I have the call.