Rochester, N.Y., January 31, 2014 – The No. 7-ranked Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team outscored the University of Rochester 13-2 in the final 3:55 as the Bears remained perfect in conference play with a 78-75 win Friday night in Rochester, N.Y.
Washington U. improves to 15-2, 6-0 in University Athletic Association (UAA) play, while Rochester falls to 7-10, 1-5 in conference action. The Bears close out a four-game road stretch Sunday, Feb. 2, at Emory University. Tip-off is set for Noon (ET) in Atlanta.
Senior forward Chris Klimek scored a game-high 20 points and had 10 rebounds as he recorded the fifth double-double of his career. Junior forward Matt Palucki (16 points, six rebounds), senior guard Alan Aboona (14 points, eight assists), junior forward Nick Burt (13 points, seven rebounds) and senior guard Tim Cooney (11 points, six rebounds) also scored in double figures in the win for the Bears.
Washington U. shot 42.3 percent (30-71) from the field and committed a season-low seven turnovers in the win. The Bears won the game on the offensive glass, turning 18 offensive rebounds into a 19-4 advantage in second-chance points.
Rochester made it clear from the beginning of the game they were going to rely on the three-point shot. The Yellowjackets first three buckets of the game were from beyond the arc, and led 9-7 three minutes into the contest.
Aboona was the lone bright spot offensively in the first half for Washington U., as he scored four-straight points to get the game tied at 20-20. Rochester answered with a 12-0 run that forced a timeout by WUSTL head coach Mark Edwards. The Bears scored five-straight points out of the timeout, highlighted by a steal and dunk by Burt to make it 32-25.
Rochester took a 39-31 lead to intermission after connecting on 7-of-13 threes. Aboona had nine points and four assists for Washington U., who shot 34.3 percent (12-35) from the field and hit 2-of-11 from three-point range.
Washington U. turned things around on the defensive end, forcing four turnovers in the opening four minutes of play. The Bears followed with a 16-2 run to make it 49-44, capped by a three-point by Palucki from the wing. The lead for Washington U. was short lived as Kevin Sheehy nailed back-to-back three-pointers to get Rochester the lead back at 50-49.
Aboona drained a three-pointer on the next possession to highlight an 8-2 run as the Bears went back in front 57-52 with 11:15 to play. Rochester continued to rely on the three-point shot as a pair of threes from Jared Seltzer got the lead back at 60-59. WUSTL got the lead down to one after a bucket by Cooney, but Seltzer nailed another three to make it 63-59.
Seltzer's fourth three-pointer of the half pushed the advantage to 73-66 with 3:55 left, but Washington U. would end the game on a 13-2 run. The Bears scored eight-straight points to grab the one-point lead at 74-73, highlighted by Palucki's three from the wing. Sheehy made two free-throws on the ensuing possession to make it 75-74, but Cooney's driving lay-up with 50 seconds left regained the lead for Washington U.
After Rochester missed an open three, junior guard David Fatoki was fouled and missed the front end of a 1-and-1. Fatoki made up for the missed free-throw with a steal on the defensive end which led to a Rochester foul. Fatoki made both free-throws to make it 78-75 with 12 seconds left, giving Rochester one last shot but Mack Montague's three was off the mark at the buzzer.
Seltzer (16) Sheehy (14), Montague (12) and Sam Borst-Smith (11) scored in double figures for Rochester, which hit 15 threes in the loss. Rochester shot 51 percent (26-51) from the field in the loss, including 57.7 percent (15-26) from three. The Yellowjackets had 11 of their 15 turnovers in the second half, and have now lost four-straight games.
Bear Notebook: Washington U. leads the all-time series with Rochester, 33-22, and snapped a three-game losing streak at the Palestra … Klimek made his 60th-straight start Friday against Rochester … Mark Edwardspicked up career win No. 598 … Klimek is 37 points shy of becoming the 21st member of Washington U.'s 1,000-point club … Aboona has made a three-pointer in 33 straight games and is in 10th place in school history with 144 career threes … The Bears are 6-0 in UAA play for the first time since the 2008-09 season.