Bears Limit Benedictine to 22 Percent Shooting in Second Half
St. Louis, Mo., January 4, 2010 – Freshman Tim Cooney recorded the first double-double of his career with 13 points and a career-high 11 rebounds to lead the Washington University in St. Louis men’s basketball team to a 67-52 victory over Benedictine University on Tuesday afternoon at the Washington University Field House in St. Louis, Mo.
Cooney was one of four players to score in double figures for Washington University. Junior Dylan Richter led the Bears with 17 points, also recording four assists, two blocks, two steals and two rebounds. Senior Spencer Gay scored 16 points with eight rebounds while swatting four shots and junior Alex Toth added 11 points while pulling down six boards.
The first half featured a frenzied start offensively for both teams, with Washington University hitting seven of its first 10 field goal attempts and jumping out to an 18-15 lead on a Gay lay-up just seven minutes into the action.
A jump shot from senior Caleb Knepper with just over 11 minutes to play stretched the WUSTL lead to seven, and sophomore Ben Hoener’s lay-up provided the Bears with their largest advantage of the opening half at 30-21. Benedictine responded with a 10-3 run to close the half, trimming the Bears’ lead to just two points as Nate Green sliced through the lane for a lay-up with under five seconds remaining. Washington U. hit just one field goal over the final 6:14 of the period.
Green led all scorers in the first half with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Richter, Gay and Cooney each scored eight points for the balanced Bears. Cooney filled up the stat sheet, adding five rebounds and four assists to his eight points. Washington U. was plagued by nine turnovers, and Benedictine outscored the Bears 11-2 in points off turnovers.
The cold shooting continued into the first part of the second half for Washington University until Richter snapped the Bears out of a 1-of-11 field goal slump with a three-pointer five minutes into the period. Since taking a nine-point lead in the first half, Washington U. hit just one field goal over the next 11:08 but the Bears never relinquished their lead. The WUSTL advantage moved back to five as Cooney put back a Richter miss on a fast-break opportunity and the Bears led 45-38 when freshman Alan Aboona fed Richter for another basket in transition.
Green finished the game with 18 points and seven assists to lead Benedictine, but he also turned the ball over nine times. Washington U. shot 48.1 percent from the field while holding Benedictine to just 32.8 percent shooting and the Bears held a 34-22 advantage in the paint.
Washington University (6-4) opens University Athletic Association play at the University of Chicago on Saturday, Jan. 8, at 3 p.m. Chicago has a 3-8 overall record, and enters Saturday’s contests riding a two-game losing streak.
Bear Notebook: This was the second meeting in school history between the two teams … Washington U. has held nine of its 10 opponents to less than 45 percent shooting from the field … The Bears have held eight team to 65 or fewer points … Washington University improved to 4-0 at-home this season … Gay has now scored in double figures in nine of 10 games this year.