St. Louis, Mo., Feb. 16, 2018 – The No. 2-ranked Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team clinched a share of the 2017-18 University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship and secured the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with a 101-60 win over Case Western Reserve University Friday at the WU Field House in St. Louis.
WashU has won 13-straight games and is 21-2 and 12-0 in the University Athletic Association (UAA), while Case suffered its third-straight defeat and fell to 12-11 and 6-6 in the UAA.
Freshman guard Jack Nolan scored 19 points on 3-of-3 three-point shooting, while sophomore forward DeVaughn Rucker added a career-best 14 points on 7-of-8 free-throw shooting. Senior forward Andrew Sanders added 12 points and five assists and senior center David Schmelter had 10 points and eight rebounds.
WashU shot 54.7 percent (35-of-64) from the field, and hit 10-of-21 from three-point range. The Bears outrebounded Case 44-28, and added 25 assists.
Schmelter highlighted a 6-0 run with a dunk to give the Bears the early 18-13 lead. A three-pointer by senior forward Matt Highsmith pushed the advantage to 21-16, and then Highsmith buried another three to highlight a 7-0 run to make it 30-21.
WashU ended the half on a 21-3 run in the final 5:05 to take a commanding 51-29 lead at half. Sanders led the Bears with nine points, as WashU shot 54.3 percent (19-of-35) in the opening half. Ignas Masiulionis led all scorers with 18 points for Case.
Nolan drained a three-pointer with 13:54 left to highlight a 7-0 run and get the lead to 67-35. Rucker scored nine-straight points in a span of 1:44 to extend the advantage to 95-49 with less than seven minutes to play.
Masiulionis led Case with 20 points. The Spartans shot 36.2 percent (21-of-58) from the field and hit 10 three-pointers.
Senior guard Jake Knupp added seven points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals, while sophomore guard Matt Nester had eight points and tied a career-best with six assists. The Bears scored a season-high 57 points off the bench.
WashU hosts Carnegie Mellon University (6-17, 2-10 UAA) Sunday at 11 a.m. in the final regular-season home game of the 2017-18 season. The Bears will honor its six four-year seniors and one transfer at 10:45 a.m., followed by tip-off at 11 a.m.
• WashU leads the all-time series with Case 47-5, and the Bears have won the last seven meetings
• Sanders has scored in double figures in 33-straight games, and went over 1,200 points in his career.
• WashU is 10-1 at home this season
• The UAA title was the Bears 15th in school history
• The Bears scored 100 points for the fourth time this season and 53rd time in school history
• Head coach Mark Edwards is 42-1 when scoring 100 or more points