St. Louis, Mo., November 16, 2013 – The No. 11-ranked Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team had four players score in double figures as the Bears earned a 90-60 win over Rhodes College in the season opener for both teams Saturday night at the WU Field House.
Senior Chris Klimek scored the first eight points of the game for Washington U., including a pair of three-point plays, before picking up his third foul with 17:08 to play. The Bears continued the hot start, hitting 10 of their first 12 shots to take a 23-5 lead on a jumper from the elbow by senior Will Patt. After a Rhodes timeout, junior Nick Burt hit two free throws and sophomore Brandon Staffeil made a layup to push the lead to 27-5. The Lynx got as close as 16 with a layup with 4:36 to play that cut the Bears lead to 35-19, but a steal and a layup by senior Tim Cooney made it 51-27 with 2:17 left. A basket by senior Alan Aboona gave Washington U. its largest lead of the half at 56-29 with 21 seconds to play, but a putback at the buzzer by Rhodes made it 56-31 at halftime.
Washington U. shot 65.7 percent (23-of-35) from the field in the opening half, while limiting Rhodes to 39.3 percent (11-of-28) shooting. Washington U. had just three turnovers in the opening half, while forcing eight turnovers by the Lynx. The Bears turned those eight turnovers into a 16-0 advantage in points off turnovers. Washington U. also had a 21-14 rebounding advantage in the first half. Cooney was 5-of-6 from the field to lead the Bears with 11 points and four rebounds, while Aboona had 10 points and five assists in the first half.
The Bears extended their lead to as many as 36 points in the second half before finishing with the 30-point win. Washington U. cooled off to 34.2 percent (13-of-38) field-goal shooting in the second half to finish the game at 49.3 percent, while Rhodes finished with 36.2 percent (21-of-58) shooting in the game. The Bears outrebounded Rhodes 55-29 in the game, and outscored the Lynx 50-20 in the paint.
Klimek scored a game-high 16 points, while junior Matt Palucki added 14, and Aboona and Cooney finished with 12 and 11, respectively. Overall, 11 different players scored for the Bears in the win. Palucki, Cooney, Aboona and junior David Fatoki each pulled down six rebounds, while Aboona and Fatoki had five assists each.
Washington U. (1-0) returns to action Sunday, Nov. 17, against Hendrix College. Game time is set for 2 p.m. at Fontbonne University.
Bear Notebook: Washington U. leads the all-time series with Rhodes, 13-7, and the teams met for the first time since the 1994-95 season … The Bears improved to 20-13 in season openers in head coach Mark Edwards' 33 years at Washington U., including winning the last eight.