March 1, 2014

Melissa Gilkey's Second-Half Leads No. 5 Women's Basketball to 63-57 Win at Chicago

Chicago, Ill., March 1, 2014 - Junior forward Melissa Gilkey scored 15 of her game-high 16 points in the second half to lead the No. 5-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team to a 63-57 win at the University of Chicago in the season finale for both teams Saturday in Chicago.

Gilkey, who had one point in the first half in six minutes of play, was 12-of-14 from the free-throw line and added 11 rebounds to pick up her ninth double-double of the season and 19th of her career. Senior forward Jordan Rettig added 14 points and 13 boards for her sixth career double-double, while junior guards Maddy Scheppers (11) and Alyssa Johanson (10) also scored in double figures in the win.

Washington U. shot 33.3 percent (18-54) from the field in the win and outrebounded Chicago 48-39. The Bears also connected on 24-of-30 from the free-throw line.

Gilkey went to the bench with 13:17 to play in the first half after picking up her second foul. Johanson came off the bench and provided a much-needed spark as she nailed three-straight jumpers and a lay-up by Rettig gave Washington U. a 20-12 lead. The Bears extended the run to 22-5 after a pair of free-throws by Scheppers gave WUSTL its largest lead of the game at 30-14.

Scheppers added her third three-pointer of the half with 25 seconds left as WUSTL took a 35-22 lead to intermission. Scheppers (11) and Rettig (10) scored in double figures in the first half as the Bears shot 42.3 percent (11-26) from the field. Washington U. also hit 10-of-14 from the foul line. Chicago was limited to 27.6 percent (8-29) shooting and hit just 2-of-12 from three-point range.

Gilkey scored the first seven points for the Bears in the second half as they opened up a 42-27 lead. Chicago got back into the contest with seven-straight points to trim the lead to 44-36 and force two timeouts by WUSTL head coach Nancy Fahey. The Bears started the second half ice cold from the field hitting just 3-of-16.

A bucket by Julie Muguira got the Washington U. lead down to five (44-39), but graduate student forward Kristin Anda answered back with a fast-break lay-up to get the lead back to seven. Chicago scored seven-straight points, highlighted by a three-pointer by Muguira, to tie the game at 46-46 with 7:43 remaining.

After the three by Muguira, Gilkey nailed a pair of free-throws and Johanson hit a long jumper to get the lead to 50-46. Neither team scored for four minutes, but a turnaround bucket by Rettig made it a five-point game (53-48). Caitlin Moore had a chance to tie it with a three-pointer from the corner with less than a minute to play, but it was off the mark. Gilkey made six free-throws in the final minute to seal the victory.

Muguira (14 points) and Claire Devaney (13 points, 14 rebounds) scored in double figures for Chicago, who also shot 33.3 percent (22-66) from the field. The Maroons hit 5-of-23 from three-point range and 8-of-14 from the foul line in the loss. Chicago entered the game leading NCAA Division III with a .788 free-throw percentage.

Washington U. concluded regular-season play with a 23-2 overall record and won its 20th University Athletic Association (UAA) title with a 13-1 mark. Chicago finished with a 15-10 mark, 9-5 in the UAA.

The 2014 NCAA Division III Women's Basketball selection show will be aired on www.ncaa.com, on Monday, March 3, at 1:30 p.m. (CT). First-round action begins Friday, March 7, at sites to be determined.

BEAR NOTEBOOK: Washington U. leads the all-time series against Chicago 46-13 … The win was the Bears' 320th in UAA history … The Bears are 21-0 this season when leading at half … Washington U. has outrebounded 22 of 25 opponents this season and is 21-1 in those games … Gilkey started her 80th consecutive game and grabbed the 600th rebound of her career … She has scored in double figures in 24 games this season, including each of the last 20 … Sophomore guard Jordan Thompson had four assists to up her season total to 120, 10th most in a single-season in school history.