Men's Basketball Upset Bid at Rochester Falls Short in 83-78 Setback
Rochester, N.Y., February 13, 2011 – The Washington University in St. Louis men’s basketball team’s upset bid at University Athletic Association leading University of Rochester fell short as the Yellowjackets picked up an 83-78 victory on Sunday afternoon in Rochester, N.Y.
Senior Spencer Gay led all WUSTL scorers with 23 points on 11-of-15 shooting and was one of four Bears to score in double figures in the game. Senior Caleb Knepper tallied 12 points with juniors Dylan Richter and Alex Toth chipping in 11 points apiece.
A tight game was broken open late in the second half when Rochester used a decisive 7-0 run that concluded with a Mike Labanowski three-pointer to break a 68-68 tie and take a seven-point lead with 2:30 to play. John DiBartolomeo scored 16 of Rochester’s final 26 points down the stretch and was 7-of-8 from the free-throw line in the second half en route to a 28-point game.
It was the Knepper and Gay show for Washington University in the first half, as the two seniors combined to score 28 of the Bears’ 38 first half points and propelled the Red and Green to a 21-6 lead to start the game.
A pair of treys from Knepper resulted in a 10-4 WUSTL advantage less than four minutes into the action, and Gay scored his sixth point in as many minutes to stretch the Washington University lead to 10, 14-4. Toth scored off an offensive rebound to make it 18-6, and Knepper drilled yet another three to put his team ahead by 15.
Washington University opened the game shooting 9-of-14 while limiting the Yellowjackets to just 2-of-8 from the floor, but Rochester started to heat up from downtown, sinking five three-pointers over the final 12 minutes of the half to cut the Bears’ halftime lead to just three.
Gay led all scorers with 16 points in the first half, while Knepper added 12 on 4-of-6 shooting from three-point range. Chris Dende paced Rochester with eight points, hitting two of the Yellowjackets’ five threes.
Rochester took its first lead of the game when DiBartolomeo drilled a three-pointer just over three-minutes into the second half. However, that lead was short lived, with Washington U. sophomore Ben Hoener draining a three of his own on the Bears’ next possession to tie the game and spark what turned into a 13-2 Washington University run over the next four minutes of play.
A bucket from Gay concluded the WUSTL run, putting the Bears back ahead by eight, but Dende and the Yellowjackets came right back. Dende scored five-straight points for Rochester during a 9-0 run that shifted the momentum back toward the Yellowjackets’ favor.
Richter nailed a three-pointer to tie the score once again at 63-63 and a three-pointer from freshman Tim Cooney at the 5:51 mark put the Bears back on top by a point, but Rochester answered with its big run to end the game and never trailed from that point.
Rochester finished the game shooting 51.9 percent from the field and 43.5 percent (10-of-23) from three-point range; the Yellowjackets entered the game leading Division III in field goal percentage (.514) and three-point shooting (.451). The Bears shot 51.7 percent from the floor and held a decisive 39-20 lead in rebounding, but Rochester outscored Washington U. 13-7 off of turnovers.
Washington University (11-11, 5-6 UAA) begins a three-game home stand to end the season against New York University on Friday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m., and Brandeis University on Sunday, Feb. 20, at Noon. Both games will be broadcast live on http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/wustl.portal.
Bear Notebook: Washington U. leads the all-time series with Rochester, 30-20, and the Yellowjackets posted an 86-80 win on Jan. 16 in St. Louis … Knepper passed 600-career points and now sits at 603 over his four seasons on the Danforth Campus … Gay has reached double figures in scoring in 20-of-22 games played this season.