Wooster, Ohio, Dec. 29, 2016 – The No. 25-ranked Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team broke open a three-point game midway though the second half with a 15-2 run as the Bears posted an 82-66 win over Ohio Wesleyan University Thursday at the 54th Annual E.M. "Mose" Hole/Kiwanis Classic in Wooster, Ohio.
WashU snapped a two-game losing streak to improve to 7-3, while Ohio Wesleyan had its four-game win streak stopped and fell to 6-4.
Junior Matt Highsmith led the Bears with a season-high 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting, while senior Clinton Hooks had his first career double-double with 16 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. Junior Andrew Sanders added 16 points and junior David Schmelter had 10 points and eight rebounds.
Junior Kevin Kucera filled up the stat sheet with seven points, six assists and a career-high 11 rebounds. The Bears outrebounded Ohio Wesleyan 55-35 and had 23 assists. WashU also shot 45.2 percent from the field (33-73) in the win.
WashU jumped out to an 11-2 advantage just four minutes into the contest following a dunk by Schmelter and a three-pointer by Kucera. The lead grew to double figures (19-8) after a jump shot by Hooks.
A steal by Kucera with five seconds left resulted in a lay-up by Highsmith at the buzzer to give the Bears a 39-33 halftime advantage. Highsmith led all scorers with 11 first-half points, while Hooks added 10. The Bears shot 45.7 percent (16-35) from the field and hit 4-of-8 from three-point range.
Ohio Wesleyan trimmed the lead to three, but WashU answered with a 15-2 run as a tip-in by Hooks made it 56-40 with 12:41 to play. OWU answered back with a 6-0 run following a pair of threes to get the lead down to 10.
WashU put the game out of reach by scoring the next 10 points of the game, including a pair of three-pointers by junior Jake Knupp.
Nate Axelrod led OWU with 22 points, while Seth Clark added 13 and Ben Simpson scored 11. The Battling Bishops shot 34.8 percent (24-69) from the field in the loss, and connected on just 9-of-43 three-pointers.
The Bears take on the host College of Wooster (5-4) Friday at 7 p.m. in the final game of the 54th Annual E.M. "Mose" Hole/Kiwanis Classic.
BEAR NOTEBOOK: WashU and Ohio Wesleyan have split four all-time meetings … OWU entered the game averaging a conference-best 11.3 threes made per game … Sanders has scored in double figures in nine of 10 games played … OWU leads NCAA Division III in fewest turnovers per game (7.8) … The win for head coach Mark Edwards was the 649th of his career.