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W&L Women’s Basketball Sets Program Records; Earns Top Seed in ODAC Tournament The Generals face off against No. 8 Randolph in quarterfinal play on Feb. 23.

Basketball-ODACs-600x400 W&L Women’s Basketball Sets Program Records; Earns Top Seed in ODAC Tournament

The Old Dominion Athletic Conference announced the seedings for the upcoming Women’s Basketball Championship, and Washington and Lee earned the top seed.

The Generals finished the regular season with an overall record of 23-2, which included a 17-1 mark in the ODAC. W&L’s 23 wins this season are already a program single-season record, edging out the 2022-23 team’s mark of 22 victories, and the team has also already secured the highest winning percentage in a season in program history. Additionally, the Generals’ 17-1 record in conference play broke the team record for ODAC wins, set at 16-2 each of the previous two seasons.

Shenandoah will be the No. 2 seed in the tournament, followed by Randolph-Macon and Bridgewater to round out the top four teams. Guilford is seeded fifth, with Roanoke, Lynchburg and Randolph completing the field.

Being one of the top six seeds, the Generals earned a bye into the quarterfinals, where they will face No. 8 Randolph. The WildCats punched their ticket to Salem by defeating ninth-seeded Ferrum on Tuesday, 53-42, in the ODAC first round. W&L defeated Randolph twice during the regular season by scores of 76-56 on Jan. 24 and 74-65 on Feb. 14.

“I think we’ve played really well in stretches against Randolph in both of the first two matchups,” said W&L Head Coach Christine Clancy. “I think we need to lock into what was making us successful earlier in the season, and that’s making sure we’re doing a good job defensively — limiting their opportunities in the paint, taking away their three-point shooters — and then offensively doing a better job of taking care of the basketball.”

W&L enters the ODAC Tournament with the highest-scoring offense in the league and the 14th-ranked offense in Division III, averaging what would be a program-record 77.8 points per game. The Generals have dominated on the boards this season, as they average 51.4 total rebounds per game, which is 7.0 per game higher than the next closest ODAC team. Their rebounding average ranks second in the nation, and they have the fifth-best rebounding margin per game (12.9).

The Generals are led into postseason play by the strong play from All-ODAC First Team selections Hanna Malik and Mary Schleusner. Malik has been one of the top shooters in the conference this season as she leads in both total three-point field goals (71) and threes made per game (2.8). Malik also adds the fifth-best scoring average (14.1) in the ODAC this year. Earlier this season, Malik crossed the 1,000-point plateau for her career, and she currently ranks 11th in program history in points scored (1,117).

Schleusner has followed up a strong rookie campaign with an even better sophomore season. She leads the ODAC in scoring (22.4), rebounding (15.0) and block (3.1) averages, and ranks 11th, second and ninth, respectively, in Division III. Schleusner has 20 double-doubles this season, tied for second in the country, with 19 performances of at least 20 points and five 20-rebound efforts. In addition to her block numbers on the defensive end of the floor, Schleusner ranks sixth in the ODAC in steals per game (2.0), and she leads Division III in defensive rebounds per game (10.2).

Schleusner has already set the program’s single-season records for total points (560) and rebounds (376), and she has another milestone on her radar for the weekend. She needs 27 more points to join Malik in the program’s 1,000-point club to become the 16th player in program history to score 1,000 or more points.

Sophomores Quinn McGuinness and Elka Prechel are two more projected starters for the Blue and White this weekend, providing solid guard play in 42 combined starts this season. McGuinness ranks third on the team with 7.4 points per game and 3.2 rebounds per game, and she leads the team with 63 assists (2.5 per game).

Prechel is one of W&L’s top scoring threats from outside, shooting 33.5% from three-point range on the season. With 7.1 points per game, Prechel has made 56 three-point shots this season, second most on the team, and she’s finding the bottom of the net at a rate of 42.5% (17-40) over the last four games. Prechel also recently established a new program record with nine made triples in a 109-54 win over Averett on Feb. 7.

Other key contributors for the Generals this season include junior Lauren Achter and sophomore Sarah Zimmerman, who have combined for 8.4 points per game on 43.6% shooting and a total of 9.8 rebounds per game as the team’s second- and third-leading rebounders. First-year Brianna Shuttlewood aids in running the offense, ranking second to McGuinness with 58 assists this season.

“I’m really proud of the team,” Clancy said. “We’re still a relatively young team, and we have good upperclass leadership, but we rely a lot on sophomores and first-years in the rotation. When we’ve played our best, we’ve limited our turnovers, so if we can continue to win the battle of the boards and take care of the ball a little bit better, I think we have the highest offensive potential in this tournament field.”

The Generals will face off against Randolph at 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, at the Salem Civic Center. If they advance to the semifinals in the ODAC Tournament, the Generals will take on the winner of the quarterfinal between No. 4 Bridgewater and No. 5 Guilford at 1 p.m. Saturday. The ODAC Women’s Basketball Championship game will be played at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets for all the games at the Salem Civic Center can be purchased in advance via Ticket Spicket (click here). For full tournament information, click here.