Second-Half Rally Falls Short in No. 7 Washington U.’s 72-70 Loss to No. 5 Rochester
BOX SCORE | VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
St. Louis, Mo., January 27, 2012 - After trailing by as many as 12 points midway through the second half, the No. 7-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women’s basketball team rallied to tie the score with less than two minutes left before coming up short in a 72-70 loss to No. 5 University of Rochester in University Athletic Association (UAA) action on Friday night at the WU Field House.
After leading by five at halftime, Rochester made six of its first eight field-goals and went 4-of-4 from the free-throw line to extend its lead to 51-39 with 13:21 remaining in the game. Washington U. forced three turnovers by Rochester over the next three minutes, and cut the deficit to 53-47 with 10:40 left on a second-chance layup and free throw by sophomore Jordan Rettig. The Yellowjackets regained a nine-point lead (58-49) with 9:45 left in the game. Washington U. answered with an 8-2 run to cut the lead to 60-57 with 7:06 left on a pair of free throws by freshman Melissa Gilkey.
Ninety seconds later, a three-point play by Gilkey tied the score at 62-62, and a free throw by Gilkey with 5:06 left gave the Bears their first lead since the 6:15 mark in the first half. The teams traded leads three times over the next minute before a layup gave the Yellowjackets a 68-65 lead with three minutes on the clock. Senior Dani Hoover drained a three-pointer to tie the score, 68-68, with 2:14 left. Rochester took the lead back with two free throws by senior Jodie Luther, before a layup by Gilkey evened the score at 70-70 with 1:10 left. The Yellowjackets took advantage of a turnover by Washington U. and scored a second-chance layup with 19 seconds left to take a 72-70 lead. The Bears turned the ball over with three seconds left but forced a turnover on the in-bounds play by the Yellowjackets. Gilkey grabbed the loose ball, but her jumper missed the mark and Rochester rebounded to seal the two-point win.
Rochester grabbed a 5-3 lead in the first minute of the game, but Washington U. went on an 11-0 run over the next six minutes to open up a 14-5 lead. The Yellowjackets cut the lead to seven, before a jumper by freshman Alyssa Johanson regained a nine-point lead for Washington U. with 11:06 left in the half. Back-to-back three-pointers by Rochester’s Jackie Walker sparked a 9-0 run by the Yellowjackets to tie the score 18-18 with 8:39 remaining in the period. The teams traded baskets over the next two minutes with a layup by Rettig, giving the Bears a 26-24 lead with 6:33 left. The Yellowjackets then went on an 10-1 run, while holding Washington U. without a field-goal for more than six minutes, to open up a 34-27 lead before a second-chance layup by Johanson made it 34-29 at halftime.
Washington U. shot 38.5 percent (25-65) from the field. Rochester (17-0, 6-0 UAA) finished with 51 percent shooting (26-51), including 56.6 percent in the second half. The Bears finished 16-of-24 (66.7 percent) from the free-throw line in the game, including 1-of-6 in the first half, while Rochester made 15-of-17 (88.2 percent) from the foul line. Rochester finished with a 38-31 rebounding advantage in the game, but the Bears tallied 17 offensive boards to Rochester’s 12. Washington U. forced 19 turnovers by Rochester in the game, while the Bears had eight.
Hoover led the Bears with 17 points and seven rebounds, including five offensive boards. Gilkey added 14 points, while Johanson scored a career-high 12 and freshman Maddy Scheppers chipped in eight points. Freshman Alexandra Keane tallied a team-high four assists.
The Bears (14-3, 4-2 UAA) will conclude their homestand with a 2 p.m. game against Emory University on Sunday at the WU Field House. Emory (13-4, 4-2 UAA) suffered a 68-49 loss at No. 2 University of Chicago on Friday night.
BEAR NOTEBOOK: The win was the first-ever for Rochester at the WU Field House … Washington U., who leads the UAA with 14.3 turnovers per game, finished with eight against the Yellowjackets, including two in the final 30 seconds of the game … Freshman Maddy Scheppers made her first-career start for the Bears in the game … It was just the fourth time this season that Rochester has been outscored in the second half … Rochester senior Jodie Luther became the 12th player in Rochester women’s basketball history to score 1,000 career points on a free throw with 8:28 left in the second half … Rochester, who entered the game averaging an NCAA Division III best 18.1 assists per game, finished with 18 assists on 26 field-goals … The game against Washington U. was Rochester’s 1,000th contest in women’s basketball history.