St. Louis, Mo., Feb. 18, 2018 – The No. 2-ranked Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team celebrated Senior Day with an 86-71 win over Carnegie Mellon University Sunday at the WU Field House in St. Louis.
Prior to the game, WashU honored its six seniors and one graduate transfer – seniors Matt Highsmith, Jake Knupp, Kevin Kucera, Andrew Sanders, David Schmelter, Sasha Sobolev) and graduate transfer Peter French. The Class of 2018 has helped guide the Bears to a 78-24 (.765) overall record with two NCAA Tournament appearances and the 2017 and 2018 UAA Championship.
WashU has won 14-straight games and is 22-2 and 13-0 in the University Athletic Association (UAA), while Carnegie Mellon dropped to 6-18 and 2-11 in the league.
Schmelter recorded a double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds, while Sanders added 18 points and eight rebounds. Kucera also scored 18 points and dished out a game-high nine assists, while Knupp added 12 points, five assists and four steals. The senior class scored 68 of 86 points for WashU.
The Bears shot 46.4 percent (32-69) from the field, and had 22 assists on 32 fields goals. WashU also recorded 11 steals and had a 20-13 advantage in points off turnovers.
WashU led 13-7 in the opening four minutes following a three-pointer by Kucera, but CMU continued to keep it close with its three-point shooting. The Tartans hit seven in the opening half, and took a 24-21 lead on a three by Zach Howarth.
The Bears did not have a field goal for a span of 4:16 midway through the first half, but WashU scored six-straight points to jump in front 27-24.
CMU closed the first half on an 11-4 run to take a 45-39 lead at the break. Sanders led the Bears with 12 points, but WashU was hampered by seven turnovers. Carnegie Mellon shot 52.9 percent (18-34) from the field and hit 7-of-16 from three-point range.
The Bears opened the second half on a 15-4 run as Kucera and Knupp each drained a three-pointer to give WashU the 54-49 lead. Back-to-back threes by Kucera pushed the lead to 64-55, and then a 7-0 run pushed the advantage to 72-57.
Collin McNeil led CMU with 19 points, while Howarth added 17. Patrick Ehland had six points and 14 rebounds off the bench. The Tartans shot 44.3 percent (31-70), but were limited to 36.1 percent (13-36) in the second half.
WashU closes out the 2017-18 regular season at the University of Chicago (12-12, 8-5 UAA) on Saturday, Feb. 24. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. (CT) in the Windy City.
• WashU leads the all-time series with Carnegie 51-9, and the Bears have won six-straight
• Sanders has scored in double figures in 34-straight games
• Sanders also moved into 14th on the all-time WashU scoring list with 1,229 points
• Schmelter moved into ninth place all-time in rebounds (600) in blocks (89)