Klimek, Palucki Guide No. 5 Washington U. Past MacMurray, 77-62
Jacksonville, Ill., January 2, 2013 – The No. 5 ranked Washington University in St. Louis men’s basketball team closed out non-conference play with a 77-62 win at MacMurray College Wednesday afternoon in Jacksonville, Ill. The game was originally scheduled to be played Dec. 20, but was rescheduled due to a snowstorm that hit the Midwest.
Washington University finished with a 10-1 record in non-conference play, and opens University Athletic Association (UAA) play at the University of Chicago Saturday, Jan. 5. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. in the Windy City.
Junior forward Chris Klimek led all scorers with 21 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the field in the win. Klimek also added eight rebounds and three steals. Sophomore forward Matt Palucki scored a career-high 20 points and had 10 rebounds to record his third double-double of the season and fourth of his career.
Washington U. outscored MacMurray 26-23 in bench points, led by senior guard Ben Hoener (10 points) and sophomore forward Nick Burt (eight points, six rebounds). The Bears outrebounded MacMurray 38-15, and continues to lead all NCAA Divisions with a +17.2 rebounding margin. Washington U. also had a 21-4 advantage in second-chance points.
A slow start by Washington U. forced head coach Mark Edwards to call a timeout with 14:20 to play trailing 16-10. A three-pointer by junior Alan Aboona and a corner jumper by Palucki ignited a 20-2 run as the Bears took a commanding 30-18 lead. Palucki had eight of the 20 points during the run on 4-of-5 shooting from the field.
MacMurray (4-6) trimmed the advantage to three (30-27) with 2:27 remaining in the half, but Washington U. closed the half by scoring the final seven points to make it 37-27 at the intermission. The Bears shot 60.7 percent (17-28) in the opening half, and outrebounded MacMurray 21-7 and had a 14-2 advantage in second-change points. Palucki had 12 points and Burt added seven in the opening half.
The Highlanders kept the deficit under double figures for most of the second half, and trimmed the lead to five (57-52) after a jumper by Dylan Burton with 9:26 to play. Washington U. put the game away with a 13-2 run, highlighted by Aboona’s three-pointer on an assist from Klimek to make it 70-54. Aboona had seven points, eight assists, three steals and two rebounds while directing the offense for Washington U.
MacMurray had three players score in double figures: Clayton Whitlock (14 points), Spencer Pratt (12 points) and Brady Slagle (10 points). The Highlanders shot 47.1 percent (24-51) from the field in the loss, and made just 3-of-12 shots from beyond the arc.
Washington U. shot 55.6 percent (30-54) in the win, and tied a season-high with 12 steals.
Bear Notebook: Washington U. leads the all-time series with MacMurray 26-5, and the Bears have won the last 21 meetings … The Bears are a perfect 8-0 this season when gaining the halftime lead, and have won 93 of the last 99 games … Washington U. has scored 70 or more points in eight of 11 games played and has outrebounded all but one opponent.