Defense, Rebounding Key No. 2 Bears to 77-53 Win Over Augustana in McWilliams Classic

Defense, Rebounding Key No. 2 Bears to 77-53 Win Over Augustana in McWilliams Classic

St. Louis, Mo., Dec. 6, 2013 – The No. 2-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team outscored Augustana College 35-10 in points off turnovers and finished with a 52-37 rebounding advantage as the Bears earned a 77-53 win over the Vikings in the McWilliams Classic Friday night.

Washington U. (5-1) takes on No. 24 Trinity University (Texas) in the McWilliams Classic championship at 7 p.m. Saturday. Trinity defeated University of California Santa Cruz 65-54 in the first game of the McWilliams Classic Friday. Augustana and UC Santa Cruz meet in the consolation championship at 5 p.m. Saturday.

After leading by 11 at halftime, Washington U. scored the first six points of the second half and extended the lead to 18 (51-33) on a three-point play by senior forward Jordan Rettig with 15:56 remaining. Augustana scored the next six points to trim the deficit to 12, but Washington U. went on a 9-0 run over the next three minutes to make it 60-39. The Vikings were unable to get closer than 16 the remainder of the game as Washington U. finished with the 24-point win in its home opener.

The Bears scored on their first four possessions of the game and a four-point play by junior guard Maddy Scheppers gave them a 13-2 lead with 17:03 left in the first half. Augustana went on a 5-0 run to cut the deficit to six points and traded baskets with the Bears until a layup by junior guard Alyssa Johanson and a pair of free throws by sophomore forward Melissa Gilkey gave Washington U. a 10-point lead at 21-11 with 12:49 left in the half.

The Vikings got to within five (21-16) with 10:42 on the clock, but an 8-0 run by Washington U., capped by a three-point play by Gilkey after a steal and layup gave the Bears their largest lead of the half (29-16) with 7:10 remaining. Augustana cut the lead to eight with 4:54 left in the half, but Washington U. took a 40-29 lead into halftime.

Washington U. shot 38.6 percent (27-70) in the game, including 48.4 percent (15-31) in the second half. Augustana shot 33.9 percent (19-56) from the field in the game. The Bears outrebounded Augustana 52-37, including 24 rebounds on the offensive glass. Washington U. also forced 25 turnovers by the Vikings, including a season-high 16 steals, that led to 35 points for the Bears.

Scheppers scored 15 points, including 4-of-8 from three-point range, and had five rebounds and a career-high four steals. Gilkey also finished with 15 points, including a perfect 7-of-7 from the free-throw line, and added a season-high 12 rebounds for her 12th career double-double. Rettig posted the third double-double of her career with 11 points and a season-high 11 rebounds. Johanson and sophomore guard Katybeth Biewen scored eight points each off the bench for the Bears. Sophomore guard Jordan Thompson equaled her season-high with six assists.

Bear Notebook: Washington U. leads the all-time series against Augustana 8-2 … The Bears improved to 23-2 all-time in the McWilliams Classic … WUSTL is 347-33 (.913) at home in 29 seasons in the WU Field House, including a 330-28 (.922) in head coach Nancy Fahey's 28 seasons … Eleven different players scored for the Bears, marking the fifth time this season that more than 10 players have scored in a game.