Burnett and Hoener Score 23 of Last 27 Points in Win Against Spalding
BOX SCORE | HIGHLIGHTS
St. Louis, Mo., March 2, 2013 – Seniors Robert Burnett and Ben Hoener scored 23 of the last 27 points for the No. 17 ranked Washington University in St. Louis men’s basketball team as the Bears posted a 70-61 victory over Spalding University in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Division III Tournament Saturday at the WU Field House in St. Louis.
Burnett recorded his third double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Hoener had 19 points off the bench on 6-of-6 shooting from the free-throw line. Hoener has scored in double figures in nine of the last 10 games and has connected on 13-straight free-throws.
Washington University (21-5) advances to the NCAA Second Round for the 15th time as a NCAA Division III school to take on No. 10 ranked Illinois Wesleyan University Saturday at a site to be determined. Illinois Wesleyan defeated Transylvania University 80-71 Saturday in Bloomington, Ill.
“We knew Spalding was a good team and very talented,” said Washington University head coach Mark Edwards. “Tonight, we saw two teams ready for the NCAA Tournament and one of them win.”
Junior Alan Aboona was the lone offensive weapon for the Bears early on as he nailed a pair of three-pointers to give the Bears the early 6-5 lead. Despite hitting just three of its first nine shots from the field, Washington University had a 10-9 advantage heading into the second media timeout.
The Bears followed with a 7-0 run to take their largest lead of the first half at 18-11 with 7:21 to play following a jumper by sophomore David Fatoki. Washington U. held onto a seven-point advantage (21-14) after a three-pointer by Hoener, but Spalding responded with a 7-0 run of their own to tie the score at 21-21 with less than four minutes before half.
Washington U. and Spalding were all knotted up 29-29 at halftime, as the Bears shot just 33.3 percent (9-27) from the field. Aboona led Washington U. with eight points, while Hoener chipped in with seven.
“We go out there and we are just trying to play hard, “Hoener said. “It was really fun to get everybody fired up. I'm really proud of everybody and how hard we fought in the second half.”
After being held to two points in nine minutes while in foul trouble in the first half, Washington U. went inside to junior Chris Klimek for the first three points of the second half to get the lead for good. A three-pointer by sophomore Matt Palucki pushed the advantage to six before a full timeout by the Golden Eagles. Palucki finished with eight points and 10 rebounds, his 19th game this season with eight or more boards.
Spalding, which finished its season with a 20-8 record, cut the lead to three (41-38) on a free-throw by Jametrius Brasher. Burnett and Hoener took over from that point. Burnett scored five-straight points to push the lead to six (48-42), forcing a 30-second timeout by Spalding.
Hoener answered with six-straight points of his own, including a fast-break lay-up off a block from Palucki to make it 54-47 with 5:23 to play. Burnett nailed a pair of three-throws to extend Washington U.’s run to 8-3 run, with all eight points coming from the duo. Spalding got the lead down to five (58-53) on a four-point play by Brandon Goeing, but that would be as close as the Golden Eagles would get.
Washington U. outrebounded Spalding 43-24, including 26-9 in the second half. The Bears shot 50 percent in the second half (15-30) and 42.1 percent (24-57) for the game.
Spalding, who was making its first NCAA Tournament appearance, had three score in double figures: Brasher (16 points), Thomas Blakemore (13 points) and Will Barber (10 points). The Golden Eagles shot 41.2 percent (21-51) from the field in the loss and committed just 10 turnovers.
Bear Notebook: Washington U. and Spalding met for the first time in school history … The Bears are 31-14 (.689) all-time in 17 appearances in the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament … Washington U. has won 20 of its last 23 NCAA Tournament games … The Bears have outrebounded 22 of its 26 opponents this season … The Bears are 15-5 all-time at home in the NCAA Tournament … Aboona had seven assists to move past Tim Spiker (1993-95, 277 assists) for 10th place all-time with 288.