St. Louis, Mo., Feb. 14, 2016 – The Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team celebrated Senior Day with an 80-75 win over Carnegie Mellon University Sunday afternoon at the WU Field House in St. Louis.
Prior to the contest, senior guard Luke Silverman-Lloyd was honored as the lone member of the Class of 2016. Silverman-Lloyd has helped WashU to a 77-25 (.755) record in his four seasons on the Danforth Campus, and the Bears have made three NCAA Tournament appearances and won a pair of UAA titles (2013, 2014).
WashU improved to 12-10, 4-7 in the University Athletic Association (UAA) with the win, while Carnegie Mellon fell to 9-13, 2-9 in the UAA. The Bears are one win away from securing their 32nd-straight winning season under head coach Mark Edwards.
Sophomore guard Kevin Kucera led five players in double figures with 15 points and seven assists, while sophomore guard Jake Knupp had 14 points off the bench. Sophomore forward Matt Highsmith (12 points, seven rebounds), junior forward Clinton Hooks (12) and sophomore forward Andrew Sanders (10 points, 12 rebounds) all scored in double figures.
WashU shot 44.8 percent (30-of-67 from the field) in the win, and recorded 21 assists. The Bears had an 18-2 advantage in points off turnovers and the bench outscored Carnegie Mellon 28-11.
WashU started quickly and had a 15-10 advantage four minutes into the contest following a three-pointer by Hooks. The Tartans hit 8-of-10 from the field to start the game, and took a 21-19 lead on a pair of free-throws by Blake Chasen.
The Bears closed the first half on a 13-5 run to take a 44-35 halftime advantage. WashU scored 11-straight points in a span of 3:28 where Highsmith and Kucera scored four points each.
The Bears shot 53.1 percent (17-of-32) from the field in the first half and had an 8-0 advantage in points off turners. Kucera, Highsmith and Sanders each had eight points for WashU. Chris Shkil (14) and Jack Serbin (10) combined to scored 24 of Carnegie's 35 points in the opening half.
Sophomore center David Schmelter had a monstrous dunk early in the second half that put the Bears up 49-42. Back-to-back threes from Kucera and Knupp pushed the advantage to double figures to 57-47 with 12:52 to play.
Carnegie Mellon went to a zone midway through the second half, and its resulted in a 6-0 run that trimmed the lead to three (63-60) with 5:57 left. After a WashU timeout, Knupp canned a three-pointer from the corner to get the lead back to six.
The Tartans once again got the lead down to one (70-69) with 2:01 to play, but Knupp came up big again with his fourth three-pointer of the contest. That would be as close as Carnegie Mellon would get as the Bears hit 5-of-6 from the foul line in the final 32 seconds.
Serbin (21 points, 12 rebounds) and Shkil (21 points, nine rebounds) scored in double figures for Carnegie Mellon, who had 18 turnovers in the loss.
WashU opens a three-game road trip to end the season with contests at Brandeis University on Friday, Feb. 19, and at New York University on Sunday, Feb. 21.
BEAR NOTEBOOK: WashU leads the all-time series with Carnegie Mellon 47-9, and the Bears have won the last 11 meetings between the two teams in St. Louis … The double-double for Sanders was his ninth of the season … Silverman-Lloyd has connected on a three in all 22 games this year.