St. Louis, Mo., Jan. 11, 2014 – Five players scored in double-figures, including a career-high 27 points by sophomore guard Jordan Thompson, as the No. 2-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team earned an 87-72 win over the University of Chicago in the University Athletic Association (UAA) opener Saturday afternoon at the WU Field House.
The win for Washington U. helped the Bears improve to 11-1 on the season and gave head coach Nancy Fahey the 650th victory in her 28-year tenure. Fahey has led the Bears to a 650-119 (.845) record, and became the 30th coach in NCAA women's basketball history to reach 650 wins.
Washington U. led from start to finish to earn their first UAA win of the season. The Bears outrebounded Chicago 9-0 in the opening five minutes, and a baseline jumper by junior guard Alyssa Johanson made it 11-0 in favor of Washington U. After a three-pointer by the Maroons, the Bears scored the next six points to make it 17-3. Thompson's second three-pointer of the game gave Washington U. its largest lead of the half at 22-7 with 9:50 left in the first half. Chicago went on a 9-2 run to cut the deficit to eight (24-16) with less than eight minutes left in the half, and the teams traded baskets until a pullup jumper by Thompson with three seconds left sent the Bears to halftime with a 40-29 lead.
The Bears opened the second half with a 14-4 run, including eight points by Thompson, to extend the lead to 54-33 with 16:21 remaining. The Maroons got their first field-goal of the half with 16:01 left, and chipped away at the lead to pull to within 62-51 on a three-pointer with 10:39 on the clock. The Bears answered with a 10-2 run, including 6-of-6 at the free-throw line for Thompson, to regain a 19-point advantage. A basket by Johanson gave the Bears their largest lead of the game (85-63) with 3:27 left before finishing with the 87-72 win.
Washington U. shot 46.9 percent (30-64) from the field in the game, and was 22-of-25 at the free-throw line for a season-best 88 percent. Chicago shot 42 percent (29-69) from the field, and was 9-of-11 (81.8 percent) at the free-throw line. The Bears dominated the boards, finishing with a 47-30 rebounding advantage.
In addition to her career-high 27 points, including 4-of-6 from three-point range, Thompson added five rebounds and six assists for the Bears. Johanson added 17 points, two shy of her career-high, and equaled her career-best with six rebounds. Senior forward Kristin Anda and junior forward Melissa Gilkey each finished with 12 points and five rebounds, while senior forward Jordan Rettig recorded her second double-double of the season with 10 points and a season-high 12 rebounds. Rettig also equaled her career-high with five assists.
Washington U. improved to 11-1 overall and 1-0 in the UAA, while Chicago dropped to 6-5 overall and 0-1 in the UAA. The Bears close their four-game home stand with a pair of UAA games next weekend. WUSTL faces Brandeis University at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, before taking on New York University at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19.
Bear Notebook: Washington U. leads the all-time series against Chicago 45-13, and has won the last three meetings between the two teams … WUSTL improved to 170-9 (.950) all-time in UAA games at the WU Field House, and 22-5 all-time in UAA openers … The Bears have outrebounded their opponents in all 11 wins this season … Johanson has scored in double digits off the bench in each of the last five games, while Gilkey reached double figures for the seventh straight game … The 27 points by Thompson was the highest single-game scoring total by an individual for the Bears this season.