January 26, 2014

No. 2 Women's Basketball Pulls Away in Second Half for 71-63 Win at Carnegie Mellon

Pittsburgh, Pa., Jan. 26, 2014 – Junior guard Alyssa Johanson and junior forward Melissa Gilkey each scored 13 second-half points for the No. 2-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team as the Bears pulled away for a 71-63 win at Carnegie Mellon University in University Athletic Association (UAA) play Sunday afternoon.

After leading 29-27 at halftime, Washington U. shot 51.4 percent from the field in the second half, and turned nine second-half turnovers by the Tartans into 15 points to pull away for the win. Carnegie Mellon scored the first basket of the second half to tie the game, but Gilkey made a layup on the Bears' next possession to give Washington U. the lead for good with 19:15 left in the game. A layup by senior forward Jordan Rettig with 11:02 to play gave the Bears their largest lead of the game at 51-41. After Carnegie Mellon pulled to within seven (55-48), Johanson drained a three from the wing to make it a 10-point lead again with 8:08 remaining. The Tartans cut the lead to five (68-63) and had a chance to make it a one-possession game with less than two minutes left, but Lisa Murphy was whistled for an offensive foul. On the ensuing possession, Gilkey converted a three-point play to make it 71-63 and the Bears grabbed two rebounds in the final minute to seal the win.

Washington U. jumped out to a 17-7 lead behind nine points by sophomore guard Jordan Thompson, including three three-pointers. Carnegie Mellon answered with a 13-2 run over the next eight minutes to take its first lead of the game at 20-19, as the Bears went more than six minutes without scoring during the Tartans' run. A jumper in the lane by senior forward Kristin Anda ended the scoring drought for Washington U. and a pullup jumper on the baseline by junior guard Maddy Scheppers gave the Bears a 23-20 lead. A three-pointer by the Tartans tied the game again, before a jumper by Johanson and a pair of free throws by Rettig again gave Washington U. a four-point lead, but Carnegie Mellon tied it with four free throws. Johanson converted a pair of free throws in the final minute to give the Bears a 29-27 lead at halftime.

The Bears shot 42 percent (29-69) from the field in the game, including 51.4 percent (18-35) in the second half, and converted 9-of-11 free throws. Carnegie Mellon finished slightly better at 43.9 percent (25-57) from the field, including 55.6 percent (15-27) in the second half, and was 7-of-10 from the free-throw line. The Tartans hit six three-pointers in the game, including four in the second half, while Washington U. finished with four threes.

The Bears outrebounded Carnegie Mellon 40-35, and turned 13 offensive rebounds into an 11-3 advantage in second-chance points. Washington U. also committed a season-low seven turnovers, while forcing 15 by the Tartans, which led to a 20-4 advantage in points off turnovers for the Bears.

Johanson equaled her career-high with 19 points off the bench for the Bears, marking her eighth double-digit scoring effort in the last nine games. Gilkey just missed a double-double with 17 points and nine rebounds, including five on the offensive glass. Thompson finished with 15 points, four rebounds and three assists. Rettig recorded her third double-double of the season and fifth of her career with 10 points, 10 rebounds and three assists. Rettig also limited Murphy, the UAA's leading scorer, to just six points in the second half.

Washington U. improved to 15-1 overall and 5-0 in the UAA with the win, while Carnegie Mellon fell to 10-6 overall and 1-4 in conference play. The Bears remain in first place in the UAA standings, one game ahead of New York University (15-1, 4-1 UAA). Washington U. continues its four-game road trip when it travels to the University of Rochester and No. 7 Emory University next weekend. The Bears take on Rochester (7-9, 1-4 UAA) at 6 p.m. (ET) Friday, Jan. 31, before facing Emory (14-2, 3-2 UAA) at 2 p.m. (ET) Sunday, Feb. 2.

Bear Notebook: Washington U. leads the all-time series against Carnegie Mellon 48-3 and has won the last 41 meetings between the two teams … The win was WUSTL's 715th in program history (715-182) …The Bears have won 11 games in a row … WUSTL has outrebounded 38 of its last 44 opponents, including 14 out of 16 this season … Gilkey is 16 points shy of becoming the 13th player in school history to reach 1,000 points … Entering the game, Carnegie Mellon averaged a UAA-best 19.9 offensive rebounds per game, but was limited to seven against the Bears … Thompson has made at least one three-pointer in each of the last five games.