Brianne Monahan, Melissa Gilkey Lead No. 9 Bears Past Ferrum, 79-64
Danville, Ky., March 2, 2012 - Senior Brianne Monahan scored a career-high 18 points and freshman Melissa Gilkey added 16 points, nine rebounds and seven blocked shots to lead the No. 9-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team to a 79-64 win over Ferrum College in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Division III Tournament Friday night.
Washington U. (21-5) advanced to play in the second-round game scheduled for 7 p.m. (ET) on Saturday in Danville, Ky., while Ferrum ended its season at 23-6. The Bears will face No. 22 Centre College, who defeated Guilford College, 59-47, in Friday's second first-round game. Saturday’s game was originally scheduled for 5 p.m. (ET), but was moved back after Friday’s games were delayed two hours and 45 minutes due to severe weather.
"I was very pleased with our overall defensive effort tonight," head coach Nancy Fahey said. "We knew Ferrum would be a tough opponent as one of the best shooting teams in the country, but our team did a great job pressuring them so they did not get many open looks."
The Bears shot 43.1 percent (28-of-65) from the field in the game, and were 19-of-22 (86.4 percent) at the free-throw line. Ferrum entered the game as the second-best field-goal shooting team in Division III (46.4 percent), but Washington U. held the Panthers to just 35.2 percent (25-of-71) from the field in the game. The Bears also out-scored Ferrum 24-9 in points off turnovers. Washington U. finished with a 44-40 rebounding advantage and set a school record with 12 blocked shots in the game.
Monahan led all scorers with 18 points and also pulled down seven rebounds, including five offensive. Gilkey finished one rebound shy of a double-double, and her seven blocks tied Washington U.’s single-game record. She also moved into ninth on the Bears’ single-season blocks list with 35, and is four shy of eighth place. Senior Dani Hoover added 11 points and six rebounds. Senior Bethany Morrison had a team-high six assists to go with her six points in the game.
The first half remained close through the first 13 minutes, with Washington U. gaining a six-point lead (22-16) on a fast-break layup by freshman Maddy Scheppers with 7:38 remaining. Ferrum answered with a basket to cut the lead to 22-18 with 6:56 on the clock. After a media timeout with 6:40 left, Gilkey converted a three-point play and Hoover drained a jumper just inside the three-point line to give the Bears a 27-18 lead with 5:17 left. A basket by the Panthers with 4:24 left made the score 29-22, but Washington U. held Ferrum without a field goal the remainder of the half. Meanwhile, the Bears went on a 14-2 run, including eight points by Gilkey, to open up a 43-24 lead at halftime.
Washington U. held Ferrum to 29 percent shooting (9-of-31) from the field in the first half, while forcing 12 turnovers by the Panthers. The Bears shot 44.4 percent (16-of-36) from the field, including 4-of-7 (57.1 percent) from three-point range in the half.
In the second half, Washington U. stretched the lead to as many as 21 points after a pair of free throws by Monahan with 17:48 remaining. Ferrum got to within 15 points (57-42) with 10:29 left in the game, but Washington U. stretched the lead back to 20 (67-47) on a fast-break layup by Hoover with 7:39 to play. The Panthers were unable to get closer than 14 the remainder of the game as Washington U. made 7-of-8 free throws in the final 3:19 of the half to seal the win.
BEAR NOTEBOOK: Friday’s game marked Washington U.’s 80th all-time in the NCAA Division III Tournament, and the Bears improved to 60-20 all-time … It was the first game ever between the two teams … Ferrum’s 35.2 percent field-goal shooting was its second lowest in a game this season … Bethany Morrison’s six assists brought her career total to 266, which is two shy of 10th place on Washington U.’s all-time career list.