Pella, Iowa, Dec. 10, 2016 – The No. 13-ranked Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit but fell short in an 84-80 loss at Central College (Iowa) Saturday in Pella, Iowa.
Central improved to 7-1 with the win, while WashU fell to 6-2.
Junior Andrew Sanders scored 13 of his team-high 19 points in the second half to lead the Bears. He also added a career-high eight assists. WashU shot 50 percent (35-of-70) from the field, but connected on just 3-of-10 from the foul line. The Bears were also outrebounded 45-33.
WashU took a 16-7 lead early in the contest after putting together a 14-2 run. Sanders had all six of his first-half points during the run. Central bounced back with a 13-3 run to take the 20-19 lead with 9:54 left.
Junior Matt Highsmith came off the bench and nailed back-to-back jumpers, and then senior Michael Bregman canned a three to tie the game at 26-26. Bregman nailed his third three of the half to move in front 35-31, and then a jumper by Highsmith made it 41-33.
Central scored the final eight points to tie the score at 41-41 at the break. Bregman led all scorers with 13 points as WashU shot 57.6 percent (19-of-33) from the field.
Trashawyn Boyd's fourth three-pointer of the game gave Central at 49-45 lead, but WashU scored seven-straight points to make it 52-49. After a timeout by Central, Sanders scored on a lay-up to extend the run to 9-0.
WashU led 56-52 with 14:14 before going ice cold from the field, missing seven-straight shots. Central responded with a 12-0 run as the Dutch took the 64-56 lead. The Dutch extended the run to 19-2 to take a 71-58 advantage with 7:44 to play.
The Bears did not fold trailing by double figures, and a three-pointer by senior Clinton Hooks trimmed the lead to seven (73-66) with 5:12 remaining. He canned another three from the win to get the lead down to four (74-70).
Junior Jake Knupp cut the lead down to one after a put-back, and then he stole the ball on the ensuing possession and was fouled. He made 1-of-2 free-throws to tie the game at 77-77 with 1:04 to play.
Pete Walker gave Central the 79-77 lead with 49 seconds left after a jumper, and then he recorded a steal on the ensuing WashU possession. Walker nailed two free-throws with 12 seconds left to seal the victory.
Walker led Central with 20 points, as the Dutch connected on 11 three-pointers and hit 17-of-23 from the foul line in the win.
WashU returns home to host No. 16 Illinois Wesleyan University (6-2) on Saturday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m.
BEAR NOTEBOOK: WashU leads the all-time series with Central 4-1, and the teams met for the first time since the 1985-86 season … Sanders has scored in double figures seven times this season and went over 500 points for his career … Knupp had a career-high six steals, second most in a single game in school history … The Bears assisted on 24 of 35 field goals.