Rochester, N.Y., Jan. 15, 2017 – The No. 20-ranked Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team defeated previously unbeaten and No. 3 University of Rochester 81-76 on the road inn University Athletic Association (UAA) play Sunday in Rochester, N.Y.
WashU improved its overall record to 11-3, 3-0 in the conference, while Rochester dropped to 13-1, 2-1 in the UAA. The Bears 3-0 conference record is the best start in UAA play since 2013-14.
With the victory WashU head coach Mark Edwards moved into 11th place all-time in NCAA Division III with 653 wins (653-286 record). The Bears victory also snapped a two-game losing streak to the Yellowjackets, who were one of just two remaining teams in Division III with an unbeaten record.
WashU outrebounded Rochester 46-36, and limited the Yellowjackets to 8-of-32 shooting from three-point range.
Junior Andrew Sanders led the Bears with 18 points, increasing his double-figure totals to 13 of 14 games played this season. Seniors Clinton Hooks and Michael Bregman also reached double-figures with 16 and 15 respectively. Both Hooks and Bregman had six shots made from the floor, while Sanders made five and added eight more points from the free throw line (8-10).
Hooks had the hot hand in the opening minutes of the first half, scoring 10 of the first 16 points for the Bears. Despite the hot hand, WashU and Rochester battled back and forth as neither team was able to grab hold of a large lead. The score was tied six times during the opening half.
With less than a minute remaining in the first half junior Kevin Kucera intercepted a pass before running the floor and making the off hand layup while getting fouled. The ensuing free throw gave WashU a 35-34 lead. Seconds later Kucera added two more free throws. Rochester closed out the scoring when Andrew Lundstrom converted a floater in the lane. The Bears went into halftime with a 37-36 lead.
Hooks led the Bears with 10 points in the opening half.
The second half picked up with back and forth lead changes and a three-pointer from
Rochester's Sam Borst-Smith tied things up at 52-52. WashU followed with 14-unanswered point, highlighted by junior Jake Knupp's six-straight points.
Rochester scored eight-straight points with just under five minutes remaining to cut the Bears lead to six points. Knupp sank a three pointer to put the Bears back up by nine but the Yellowjackets refused to give up and with less than three minutes remaining Rochester went on a 14-5 run to slash the Bears lead to just two points.
Highsmith hit a midrange jumper to give the Bears a four-point cushion and Sanders added the final point of the game with a free-throw.
Borst-Smith and Mack Montague led Rochester with 18 points apiece, while Lundstrom added 14 and Ryan Clamage had 10.
WashU returns home to host New York University on Friday, Jan. 20, at 8 p.m. and Brandeis University on Sunday, Jan. 22, at 11 a.m.
BEAR NOTEBOOK: WashU leads the all-time series with Rochester 37-24… WashU is 4-6 against ranked teams in the last three seasons, including a 2-2 mark this year… WashU has won five-straight games away from home … Junior Matt Highsmith is 14 points shy of 500 for his career … The 15 points for Bregman tied a career-high.