November 23, 2013

Strong Second Half Lifts No. 2 Women's Basketball to 78-61 Win Over Hiram

Milwaukee, Wis., Nov. 23, 2013 – The No. 2-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team used a 26-9 run midway through the game to turn a two-point deficit into a 15-point lead as the Bears pulled away in the second half for a 78-61 win over Hiram College at the Paul F. Knueppel Classic Saturday afternoon.

A basket by junior forward Melissa Gilkey got the scoring started in the game, but Hiram took the lead with back-to-back buckets and led through most of the first half. The Terriers made three of their first four shots from three-point range to build a 13-5 lead. The Bears answered with an 8-0 run to tie the score at 13-13 on a baseline shot from junior guard Alyssa Johanson with 12:17 to go in the half. After a timeout, Hiram regained the lead and pushed it to 20-15, but a basket by senior forward Jordan Rettig after a pair of offensive rebounds by the Bears tied the score at 20-20. A pair of free throws gave the Terriers the lead back, but a layup by Rettig tied it and a three-point play by Gilkey gave the Bears the lead for good with 2:50 left in the first half. A baseline drive by junior Maddy Scheppers made it 27-22, and Washington U. extended the lead to 36-29 at halftime.

Washington U. shot 35.9 percent (14-39) from the field in the first half, while Hiram shot 34.5 percent (10-29). The Terriers had five three-pointers in the first half to two for Washington U. The Bears had a 33-16 rebounding advantage in the half.

Hiram scored the first basket of the second half to cut the Bears' lead to five, but Washington U. went on a 10-0 run, including four points each by Gilkey and Rettig, to extend the lead to 46-31 with 16 minutes remaining. The Terriers got to within 11 (47-36) with their sixth three-pointer of the game, but a 15-4 run gave the Bears their largest lead of the game at 62-40, before finishing with the 17-point win.

The Bears shot 45.2 percent (14-31) from the field in the second half, to 37.5 percent (9-24) shooting for the Terriers. Washington U. also forced 11 second-half turnovers by Hiram, including nine steals for the Bears.

In the game, Washington U. shot 40 percent to 35.8 percent field-goal shooting by Hiram. The Terriers finished with 10 three pointers in the game (10-25), while Washington U. was 3-of-10 from beyond the arc. The Bears shot 67.9 percent (19-28) from the free-throw line. Washington U. also finished with a 54-34 rebounding advantage in the game. Marisa Thomas led Hiram with 22 points in the game, including 5-of-8 from three-point range, but the Bears limited her to just six in the second half.

Gilkey recorded the 11th double-double of her career with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Rettig added 16 points, just two shy of her career-high, and added six rebounds. Johanson chipped in eight points off the bench, while graduate student forward Kristin Anda had seven points and five rebounds, and Scheppers had six points and six rebounds. Senior guard Lucy Montgomery and junior center Steph Vukotic also had six points each in the win. Sophomore guard Jordan Thompson had a solid game for the Bears, finishing with four points, a career-high seven rebounds, five assists, three steals and a blocked shot.

Washington U. improved to 3-0 with the win, while Hiram dropped to 1-4. The Bears return to action against Illinois Wesleyan University Saturday, Nov. 30, at the Thanksgiving Tournament hosted by DePauw University. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. (ET) in Greencastle, Ind.

Bear Notebook: It was the first meeting in school history between the two teams … Washington U. had at least 10 players score for the third time this season … It was the 15th time in Gilkey's career that she pulled down double-digit rebounds … Gilkey brought her career scoring total to 790 points.