December 7, 2013

No. 2 Women's Basketball Claims McWilliams Classic Championship with 67-59 Win Over No. 24 Trinity

St. Louis, Mo., Dec. 7, 2013 – Junior forward Melissa Gilkey posted her second double-double in as many games to lead the No. 2-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team to a 67-59 win over No. 24 Trinity University (Texas) in the championship game of the 13th Annual McWilliams Classic Saturday night.

Gilkey finished with 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, and was selected as the Jacqueline Bickel Schapp Most Valuable Player of the McWilliams Classic. Junior guard Maddy Scheppers was also named to the all-tournament team for the second year in a row. Gilkey and Scheppers were joined on the all-tournament team by Augustana College's Molly Etheridge, University of California Santa Cruz's Sarah Mackey, and Hannah Coley and Libby Kruse from Trinity.

After leading 35-29 at halftime, Washington U. opened the second half with a 9-2 run, including five points by sophomore guard Jordan Thompson, to build a 44-31 lead on a second-chance basket by senior forward Kristin Anda with 16:31 to play. Trinity answered with a 9-0 run over the next 4:49 to make it a four-point game. A basket by junior guard Alyssa Johanson ended the scoring drought for the Bears, but Trinity scored the next five points to pull to within 46-45 with 10:58 remaining. A pullup jumper by Thompson made it a three-point lead, but a three-pointer by Trinity tied the score at 48-48.

Gilkey scored with a jumper from the free-throw line to give the Bears the lead back, but Coley hit back-to-back three-pointers to give the Tigers a 54-50 lead with 7:52 remaining. Thompson found Anda for a reverse layup to make it 54-52. A free throw by Kruse extended Trinity's lead to 55-52, but Scheppers made two free throws to bring Washington U. to within 55-54 with 6:45 left. A minute later, senior guard Jessy Rosen hit a three-pointer to give Washington U. the lead for good, and senior Jordan Rettig made a pair of free throws, before Scheppers made her fifth three-pointer of the tournament to extend the Bears' lead to 62-55 with 3:30 left. The Tigers cut the lead to five, but Washington U. made 5-of-6 free throws down the stretch to seal the 67-59 win.

Gilkey scored 10 of the Bears' first 14 points, including a pair of three-pointers, as Washington U. jumped out to a 14-8 lead in the first half. After a pair of free throws by Trinity, Gilkey converted a three-point play to give the Bears their largest lead of the half at 17-10 with 12:20 left. The Tigers answered with back-to-back threes to make it a one-point game, but Rosen hit a jumper from the top of the key and Washington U. maintained the lead. Leading 27-25, Johanson hit a baseline jumper and Thompson drained a three to push the lead back to seven (32-25), before the Bears headed to halftime with a 35-29 lead.

Washington U. shot 34.4 percent (21-61) from the field in the game, compared with 39 percent (23-59) for Trinity. The Bears were 6-of-21 from three-point range and 19-of-24 at the free-throw line, while Trinity finished 7-of-29 from beyond the arc and 6-of-9 at the free-throw line. Washington U. also finished with a 50-30 rebounding advantage, including 21 offensive rebounds that led to an 18-4 advantage in second-chance points.

In addition to Gilkey's double-double, the Bears had three other players score in double figures. Thompson equaled her season-high with 14 points, while pulling down five rebounds and dishing out a season-best seven assists. Anda finished with 11 points and seven rebounds, including six on the offensive glass, and Scheppers just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.

Washington U. improved to 6-1 on the season with the win. The Bears return to action with two games next week, beginning with a 6 p.m. contest at Fontbonne University Tuesday, Dec. 10.

Bear Notebook: The all-time series between the two teams is tied 2-2, and they were playing for the first time since the 2003 Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament … The Bears improved to 24-2 all-time in the McWilliams Classic, and won their 11th title in 13 years, including seventh in a row … WUSTL is 348-33 (.913) at home in 29 seasons in the WU Field House, including a 331-28 (.922) in head coach Nancy Fahey's 28 seasons … The win was Fahey's 645th of her career (645-119, .844) … It was the 13th double-double of Gilkey's career and her third of the season.