No. 10 Women’s Basketball Tops Rose-Hulman in McWilliams Classic

No. 10 Women’s Basketball Tops Rose-Hulman in McWilliams Classic

St. Louis, Mo., Nov. 21, 2014 – The No. 10-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team scored 24 points off 19 turnovers by Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology to earn a 59-35 win over the Fightin' Engineers at the 14th Annual McWilliams Classic Friday evening.

Washington U. (2-0) will face Southwestern University (Texas) in the McWilliams Classic Championship at 7 p.m. Saturday. Southwestern earned a 69-62 win over Denison University in Friday's first game. Rose-Hulman and Denison will square off in the consolation game of the tournament at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Rose-Hulman took an early 5-4 lead in the game on a three-pointer with 16:17 to play in the first half, but senior Melissa Gilkey buried a jumper after a pair of offensive rebounds by the Bears to give Washington U. the lead for good. Back-to-back steals by the Bears and buckets by seniors Alyssa Johanson and Maddy Scheppers quickly made it 10-5 in favor of Washington U. After a three by the Fightin' Engineers pulled them to within two, Washington U. stretched the lead to seven on driving baskets by Scheppers, junior Amanda Martinez and Gilkey. The Bears extended the lead to 26-14 with less than a minute to play before the half, and went into the break with a 26-16 lead.

After holding a 10-point lead at the half, Washington U. started the second half with a 13-0 run and held the Fightin' Engineers scoreless for nearly six minutes to open up a 39-16 lead on a three-pointer by junior Jordan Thompson. The Bears eventually stretched the lead to 55-25 with 4:46 remaining on a pair of free throws by Thompson. Rose-Hulman scored the next 10 points, before a pair of layups by Washington U. ended the scoring to give the Bears the 59-35 win.

Washington U. shot 34.9 percent (22-of-63) from the field in the game, and finished 13-of-18 (72.2 percent) at the free-throw line. Rose-Hulman was limited to 27.3 percent (12-of-44) shooting from the field. The Bears finished with a 44-35 rebounding advantage in the game, including a 25-13 edge in the second half.

Gilkey led the Bears with 13 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. Scheppers added 12 points and four rebounds, while Johanson finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. Junior Katybeth Biewen tallied six points, four rebounds, three steals and two assists for the Bears. Senior Steph Vukotic chipped in with five points and a career-high seven rebounds, including six on the offensive glass. 

Bear Notebook: Washington U. leads the all-time series against Rose-Hulman 3-0, with both of the previous wins also coming in the McWilliams Classic in 2003 and 2009 … It was the 665th career win for head coach Nancy Fahey … Gilkey passed Michele Lewis (1988-92) for seventh on Washington U.'s career scoring list, bringing her career total to 1,203 points … Gilkey passed Jill Steinhauer (1986-90) for fifth on the Bears' career blocked shots leaderboard with 102.