Chicago, Ill., March 1, 2014 – The No. 3-ranked Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team ran its winning streak to 18 games and secured the fourth undefeated season in University Athletic Association (UAA) history with a 86-73 win at the University of Chicago in the season finale for both teams Saturday in Chicago.
The Bears also posted an undefeated UAA season in 2001-02, while Chicago was undefeated in UAA play in 1997-98 and 1999-2000. Washington U. improved its overall record to 23-2, and 14-0 in the UAA, while Chicago ends its season with a 15-10 record, 8-6 in the UAA.
Junior forward Matt Palucki had a game-high 26 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field, while senior guard Alan Aboona added 25 points and eight assists. Aboona became the 22nd player in school history to score 1,000 points after draining a pair of free-throws with 3:57 left in the contest. Senior forward Chris Klimek had 15 points and six boards in the win.
Washington U. shot 51.7 percent (30-58) from the field in the win, and hit 8-of-16 from three-point range. The Bears outrebounded Chicago 40-28 and had 17 assists in the win.
Palucki had the hot hand early in the contest scoring seven of the first 11 points for Washington U. His three-pointer from the corner made it 11-7. Palucki's three was part of a 13-0 run was the Bears built their largest lead of the half at 19-7 with 12:34 to play. Washington U. hit 8-of-12 from the field to start the contest.
The Bears continued to shoot the ball well from the field as a three-pointer from sophomore guard Luke Silverman-Lloyd and a jumper from Aboona pushed the advantage to 35-21. Aboona's three-point play gave the Bears their largest lead of the first half at 40-23 with 2:35 to play.
The Bears shot 60.7 percent (17-28) from the field in the opening half, including 4-of-7 from three-point range. Washington U. also had 13 assists and outrebounded Chicago 20-16. Palucki had 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting, while Aboona added 11 points and five assists.
Chicago got the lead down to single digits at 47-38 after a thunderous dunk by Nate Brooks, but Washington U. answered with a 7-0 run to make it 54-38. Palucki had a conventional three-point play and a jumper during the run.
Washington U. built a 64-50 lead after six-straight points, but back-to-back threes by Wayne Simon and Sam Gage trimmed the lead to eight and forced a full timeout by WUSTL head coach Mark Edwards. Out of the timeout, Palucki scored on a lay-up and Aboona added a three to get the lead back to double figures.
Smith (19), Wayne Simon (18) and Brooks (11) scored in double figures for Chicago, which shot 45 percent (27-60) in the loss. The Maroons hit just 3-of-15 from three-point range in the defeat.
The 2014 NCAA Division III Men's Basketball selection show will be aired on www.ncaa.com, on Monday, March 3, at 11:30 a.m. (CT). First-round action begins Friday, March 7, at sites to be determined.
BEAR NOTEBOOK: Washington U. leads the all-time series with Chicago, 47-18, and the Bears have won 12 of the last 16 meetings … Chicago is 9-3 at home this season … The 18-game winning streak is the third longest in school history … The Bears have won 16-straight UAA games dating back to 2013 … Washington U. is 22-1 this season when outrebounding its opponent … Palucki went over 800 points for his career and scored 20 or more points for the seventh time in his career.