No. 11 WashU Escapes with Four-Point Win Over Central

No. 11 WashU Escapes with Four-Point Win Over Central

St. Louis, Mo., Dec. 9, 2017 – Freshman guard Jack Nolan nailed a pair of three-pointers in the final 1:33 to lift the No. 11-ranked Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team to an 87-83 non-conference win over Central College (Iowa) Saturday at the WU Field House in St. Louis.

Tied at 79-79, Nolan buried a three from the wing to give WashU the three-point lead. Leading by two (82-80), he drilled a three from the top of the key with the shot clock winding down to seal the win. Nolan finished with 11 points off the bench.

Senior forward Andrew Sanders recorded a double-double with a season-high 29 points and 14 rebounds. Senior guard Kevin Kucera added 13 points and six assists, while senior center David Schmelter had seven points and a career-high 19 rebounds.

WashU (6-1) shot 44.9 percent (31-of-69) from the field, including a season-low 21.4 percent (6-of-28) from three-point range. The Bears committed a season-high 24 turnovers and outrebounded Central 58-36.

WashU led 12-5 with 16:04 left in the first half on a pair of free-throws by Sanders, who scored seven of the first 12 points. The Bears took a 17-12 lead on a three-pointer by senior forward Matt Highsmith.

Freshman forward Hank Hunter came off the bench and scored six-straight points, and then Kucera nailed a three-pointer to make it 39-34.

Central (2-6) kept it close by hitting 14-of-15 from the free-throw line in the first half, taking advantage of 13 fouls by WashU. Head coach Mark Edwards had 14 players see action in the opening half.

WashU took a 44-40 lead to the locker room, connecting on 45.5 percent (15-of-33) from the field. Kucera and Sanders had 11 points each to the lead Bears. Schmelter had 11 rebounds in the opening half. 

A three-pointer by Kyle Smith with 16:11 left game Central a 52-50 lead. After Jamel McNight gave the Dutch its largest lead of the game at 69-66, Sanders converted a three-point play with 7:36 to play to tie the score at 69-69. 

Malik Wildermuth (20), Smith (14), Caden Mauck (12) and McKnight (12) scored in double figures for Central, who shot 23.1 percent (6-of-26) from three-point range and had a 24-8 advantage in points off turnovers.

WashU opens a two-game road trip on Tuesday, Dec. 12 at Fontbonne (2-5, 0-2 SLIAC). Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. as part of a doubleheader with the women's team.

• WashU leads the all-time series with Central 5-1
• Sanders is 48 points shy of 1,000 for his career.
• The double-double for Sanders was the 14th of his career.
• The 58 rebounds were a season high.
• The teams combined for 45 fouls and 57 free-throws.
• The 19 rebounds by Schmelter were three shy of the WashU single-game record.