Springfield, Ohio, Dec. 29, 2015 – The No. 21-ranked Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team had all five starters score in double figures as the Bears posted a 75-67 win over Centre College Tuesday in the opening game of the Charles B. Zimmerman Memorial Classic held at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio.
WashU improved to 8-2 with the win, while Centre fell to 7-3. WashU takes on the winner of Wittenberg and Earlham College Wednesday, Dec. 30, at 7 p.m. (ET) in the championship game.
Sophomore forward Andrew Sanders recorded the third double-double of his career with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while junior forward Clinton Hooks added 16 points. Sophomore forward Matt Highsmith (14 points), sophomore guard Kevin Kucera (12 points, six assists) and senior guard Luke Silverman-Lloyd (11 points) also scored in double figures for the Bears.
WashU shot 50 percent (28-of-58) from the field and hit 7-of-17 from three-point range in the win. The Bears turned the ball over a season-low eight times, and had a 21-10 advantage in points off turnovers.
The Bears took a commanding 32-15 lead with 8:01 left in the first half after a 19-4 run. Sophomore center David Schmelter, who missed the last four games with a sickness, capped the run with a dunk on his only bucket of the game on an assist from Kucera.
Centre answered with a 7-2 run to get the lead down to 12 at 34-22, but a three-point play by Kucera made it 39-25 with 2:27 left.
Kucera led the Bears with 10 first-half points on 4-of-6 shooting as WashU took a 41-29 lead to half. WashU shot 47.1 percent (16-of-34) from the field and had just two turnovers.
Centre opened the second half on an 18-8 run and got the lead down to two (49-47) after a three-pointer by Sam Gruber with 12:56 to play.
WashU responded with a run of its own, a 15-3 ledger, to jump out in front 72-57 with 5:16 left. Hooks canned a three pointer and Silverman-Lloyd added a jumper for the final two buckets during the run.
Blake Scinta (19 points), Jarod Griffin (11), Gruber (11) Matt Gump (10) scored in double figures for Centre, who hit 9-of-29 threes and had 15 turnovers.
BEAR NOTEBOOK: WashU leads the all-time series with Centre 8-5, and the teams met for the first time since the 1997-98 season … The Bears are 8-0 when leading at the half … Sanders has scored in double figures in eight of 10 games … The victory for head coach Mark Edwards was the 635th of his career.