No. 9 Washington U. Falls at No. 22 Centre, 57-55, in NCAA Second Round
Danville, Ky., March 3, 2012 - The No. 9-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women’s basketball team had its season come to an end as No. 22 Centre College made a pair of free throws with 14.1 seconds left to pull out a 57-55 win over the Bears in the second round of the 2012 NCAA Division III National Tournament on Saturday night.
Washington U. took a 32-20 lead into halftime after holding Centre to just 25 percent (8-of-32) from the field, including 1-of-9 from three-point range, in the first half. The Colonels out-scored the Bears 8-2 to open the second half and cut the Bears’ lead to 34-28 with 18:37 remaining. Washington U. stretched the lead back to nine (38-29) on a layup by senior Dani Hoover with 15:23 to play, but Centre’s Maggie Prewitt scored five-straight points to spark a 10-1 run by the Colonels to tie the game (39-39) with 13:30 to play. Freshman Maddy Scheppers answered with a three from the top of the key to regain a 42-39 lead for the Bears.
Centre scored five-straight points, taking a 44-42 lead with 11:08 left. A jumper by freshman Alyssa Johanson tied the score at 44-44, before Centre took its largest lead of the game (49-46) on a three-pointer with 6:41 left. The Bears got six-straight defensive stops, and Scheppers and freshman Melissa Gilkey combined to score seven unanswered points to give Washington U. a 53-49 lead with 4:41 left. Centre made four free throws to tie the game again at 53-53 with 1:33 left before Gilkey sank two free throws as Washington U. regained a 55-53 lead with 1:11 remaining.
A baseline jumper by the Colonels tied the score for the fifth time in the game (55-55) with 58 seconds left, and the Colonels came up with a steal after an offensive rebound by Gilkey. After a timeout by Centre, Gilkey was whistled for her fifth foul, and Chelsea Benham made both free throws to put the Colonels on top 57-55 with 14.1 seconds left. A driving layup by Scheppers with four seconds left was partially blocked and Centre tracked down the loose ball under the Bears’ basket before calling timeout with 1.6 seconds left. Following timeouts by Centre and Washington U., the Colonels in-bounded the ball, but Prewitt was called for an offensive foul, giving the Bears the ball back under their own basket with 1.3 seconds left. Washington U. got the ball in, but Hoover’s off-balance three –pointer from the corner at the buzzer was off the mark.
The Bears’ defense stymied the Centre offensive attack throughout the first half, holding the Colonels to 0-for-11 from the field to start the game. Washington U. jumped out to an 8-2 lead, including three-pointers by Hoover and senior Brianne Monahan, before Centre’s first field-goal of the game on a three-point play cut the lead to 8-5 with 13:22 left in the first half. The Bears made it 16-11 with 8:07 remaining in the period on a layup by Gilkey, before a layup by the Colonels cut it to 16-13. After a timeout by Washington U., the Bears went on a 10-2 run to open up a 26-15 lead on a layup by senior Bethany Morrison with 4:31 on the clock. Centre cut the lead to eight (28-20) late in the half, but a layup by Morrison as the shot clock was winding down and a baseline jumper by Scheppers with four seconds left gave Washington U. a 32-20 lead at halftime.
Washington U. shot 35.1 percent (20-of-57) from the field in the game, including 3-of-14 (21.4 percent) from three-point range. The Bears finished 12-of-16 from the free-throw line. Centre shot 29.8 percent (17-of-57) from the field, and 6-of-19 (31.6 percent) from three-point range, including 5-of-10 in the second half. The Colonels were also 17-of-18 from the free-throw line in the contest. Washington U. finished with a 42-36 rebounding advantage.
Gilkey and Scheppers both finished with double-doubles to lead Washington U. in the game. Gilkey recorded 13 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots, while Scheppers tallied 12 points and a career-high 12 rebounds, including six on the offensive glass. Monahan finished with 11 points and six rebounds, while Hoover had nine points. Morrison added six points and a game-high seven assists, which moved her into 10th on Washington U.’s all-time career assists list with 273. Johanson and senior Claire Schaeperkoetter each scored two points to round out Washington U.’s scoring.
Washington U. finished its season at 21-6 overall, marking the 22nd time in 26 seasons under head coach Nancy Fahey that WU has won 20 or more games. The Bears’ four seniors – Hoover, Monahan, Morrison and Schaeperkoetter – finished their careers at Washington U. with an overall record of 101-19
BEAR NOTEBOOK: The Bears are now 60-21 all-time in the NCAA Division III Tournament … Washington U. won the only other meeting with Centre College, 58-51, in 1991 … Gilkey’s three blocks on Saturday brought her season total to 38, which ranks ninth in Washington U. history … Hoover finished the season with a free-throw percentage of .833, which ranks seventh on the Bears’ all-time single-season list … Centre, who leads NCAA Division III in free-throw percentage (79.4), shot 94.4 percent (17-of-18) against the Bears.