Atlanta, Ga., Jan. 13, 2017 – The No. 20-ranked Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team defeated Emory University 71-63 in its second University Athletic Association (UAA) game of the season Friday in Atlanta.
WashU improved its overall record to 10-3, 2-0 in the conference, while Emory dropped to 9-4, 0-2 in the UAA. The Bears 2-0 conference record is the best start in UAA play since 2013-14.
Juniors Jake Knupp and Matt Highsmith led the scoring for the Bears off the bench with 15 and 13 points each. Knupp shot 5-of-8 from the field for a season-high 15 points, including 3-of-6 from downtown.
Overall the Bears shot 48.2 percent (27-56) from the field while holding the Eagles to 32.4 percent from the floor (22-68). WashU's bench totaled 35 points compared to Emory's seven. The Bears also had 16 assists on 27 field goals and totaled 42 rebounds.
Junior David Schmelter scored the first basket of the game on the Bears opening possession when junior Andrew Sanders fed him down low for a layup. Sanders increased the Bears lead two possessions later with a lay in of his own and the Bears started to separate from the Eagles when the first half's leading scorer entered the game.
Knupp led the Bears in the first half with eight points while converting two three pointers and also connecting on a tip-in off a missed three-pointer by sophomore Will Galik. WashU's bench outscored the Eagles bench 20-5 in the first half. Highsmith added five points off the bench on 2-of-4 shooting from the floor.
The Bears continued to grow their 37-30 halftime lead in the second. Highsmith hit three shots in a two-minute span which helped the Bears increase their advantage to 17 points and minutes later a three by Knupp gave WashU its largest lead of the night, 58-39 with 8:22 remaining on the clock.
Emory began chipping away and closed the gap to within six points with 1:34 to go on the clock. More than a minute passed with no change in the 66-60 score before junior Kevin Kucera, Knupp and Schmelter hit free throws down the stretch. A last second three-pointer from Emory ended the scoring at 71-63.
Christopher Avant led Emory with 18 points, while Adam Gigax added 14 and Jim Gordon had 13. The Eagles committed just 12 turnovers while scoring 16 second chance points.
WashU closes out a five-game road trip at No. 3 University of Rochester (13-0, 2-0 UAA) on Sunday, Jan. 15, at Noon (ET). Rochester defeated Chicago Friday 88-82 behind career-high 38 points from Sam Borst-Smith.
BEAR NOTEBOOK: WashU leads the all-time series with Emory, 46-13, and the Bears snapped a three-game losing skid to the Eagles … Sanders has scored in double figures in 12 of 13 games played… Head coach Mark Edwards is one win shy of moving into 11th place all-time in NCAA Division III in wins (652-286 record) ... WashU has won four-straight games away from home.