SALEM, Va. – Senior Jazlyn Gibbs scored a game-high 19 points in Guilford College's 57-40 win over Virginia Wesleyan College in Sunday's Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Women's Basketball Tournament final.
The Quakers' seventh win in eight games captured their first conference crown since 2002 and secured the ODAC's automatic NCAA Division III Championship Tournament bid. Guilford (22-6) will make its third NCAA appearance in school history and learns its NCAA opponent Monday (2/27) at 2:30 p.m. selection show on www.ncaa.com.
Seeded third in the tournament, Guilford held the top-seeded Marlins (22-6) to 18 percent field-goal shooting and 40 points, both season lows. The Quakers grabbed a 10-2 lead, but Virginia Wesleyan tied the score at 12 midway through the period on two Sarah Seipp free throws. Guilford rattled off the next 11 points and ended up with a 26-18 halftime lead. Gibbs (9) and Morgan King (8) combined for 17 of the Quakers' first-half points.
Guilford scored the second-half's first six points as the Marlins' shooting woes continued. Kristen Blalock made a three-pointer and a foul-line jumper on consecutive possessions, which brought Virginia Wesleyan to within 41-33. After a Quakers' timeout, the Marlins drew to within 43-47 with 8:44 to play, but managed just two-for-26 field-goal shooting the rest of the way. The Quakers outscored Virginia Wesleyan, 14-3, during that time, with Gibbs scoring eight of Guilford's points.
Guilford outscored Virginia Wesleyan, 32-10, in the paint and outrebounded the Marlins, 51-47. King finished with 12 points and grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season. She and Gibbs represented Guilford on the All-ODAC Tournament team, along with sophomore Gabby Oglesby, who was named the event's Most Outstanding Player. Oglesby, also the league's Player of the Year, contributed 10 points, nine rebounds, five assists and four blocks. Point guard Brittany Atwater finished with seven points, a career-high 10 rebounds and three assists.
Seipp, the ODAC's Rookie of the Year, led the Marlins with 11 points, but shot three-of-17 from the floor. Brittany Glasco scored nine points off the bench and Blalock added seven points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Seipp and Blalock represented Virginia Wesleyan on the all-tournament team.
The title marks the first conference crown for Guilford head coach Stephanie Flamini in her 12-plus seasons as a head coach. She will also be making her first NCAA Tournament head-coaching appearance.