ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The Presbyterian College women’s basketball team fought off a late Gardner-Webb serge and topped GWU, 58-51, to advance to the semifinals of the Big South Conference Championship for the first time in school history. PC broke a tournament record with a 94.1 (16-of-17) free throw percentage.
The Blue Hose improved to 18-12 on the season, while the Runnin’ Bulldogs ended the season at 19-12. PC faces UNC Asheville 2 p.m. Saturday at the Kimmel Arena in the semifinals of the Big South Championship.
Taylor Petty (Spartanburg, S.C.) led the Blue Hose with 14 points and grabbed four rebounds, while Salina Virola (Huntsville, Ala.) provided 12 points and brought in a team-best six rebounds. Allie Wagner (Easley, S.C.) added 10 points and five rebounds, while Cortney Storey (Fayetteville, Tenn.) produced 10 points and three assists.
Candace Brown led all scorers with 21 points and recorded nine rebounds, while Olivia Parker provided a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Gardner-Webb started the game up 3-0 before Janie Miles (Clemson, S.C.) gave the Blue Hose their first points of the game. Aianna Kelly (Newport News, Va.) hit back-to-back three-pointers and gave PC its first lead of the game at 8-6. The Blue Hose went on an 11-2 run and took a 15-8 lead. Brown ended the quarter on an and one, while PC held a 15-11 advantage after the first.
Wagner opened the second quarter on a made layup and put the Blue Hose up 17-11. PC went on a 10-4 run and opened up a 27-15 lead with 3:27 left before halftime. Taylor Petty converted a free throw and gave the Blue Hose a 30-20 advantage into the locker room, their largest of the first half.
Storey and Wagner converted layups and gave the Blue Hose a 36-24 lead in the third quarter, their largest of the game. Virola ended the third period with a three-pointer and gave PC a 41-32 lead into the final period.
Gardner-Webb opened the fourth quarter on a 6-0 run and cut the Blue Hose lead to 41-38. The Runnin’ Bulldogs cashed in four free throws and cut the PC advantage to one, 45-44. The Blue Hose then went on a 7-1 run and took a 52-45 advantage. Gardner-Webb pulled within three, 52-49, on a free throw by Parker. The Blue Hose ended the game on a 6-2 run, including four free throws.
PC held a 22-14 points in the paint, an 8-2 fast break and a 12-4 bench points advantage in the game. The Blue Hose held the lead for 33 minutes and 24 seconds.