No. 4 Women’s Basketball Opens UAA Play with 65-52 Win at Chicago

No. 4 Women’s Basketball Opens UAA Play with 65-52 Win at Chicago

Chicago, Ill., Jan. 10, 2015 – Senior Melissa Gilkey had her sixth 20-point performance of the season with 24 points and 12 rebounds to lead the No. 4-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team to a 65-52 win at the University of Chicago in the University Athletic Association (UAA) opener Saturday afternoon.

Gilkey scored 15 second-half points, including three three-pointers, to finish with a game-high 24 points. The 12 rebounds gave her the seventh double-double of her season. Junior Katybeth Biewen just missed a double-double with a season-high 10 points and a career-best nine rebounds, including seven on the offensive glass. Sophomore Ereka Hunt and freshman Natalie Orr equaled their season-highs with nine and seven points off the bench, respectively. Junior Amanda Martinez added five rebounds and three steals off the bench, while senior Maddy Scheppers accounted for four of the Bears' 12 steals in the game.

Washington U. grabbed an early 8-6 lead and extended it to six points after a long jumper by Orr and a pullup jumper by senior Alyssa Johanson with 12:38 remaining in the first half. After a basket by Chicago made it 12-8, Washington U. went on a 14-0 run over the next four minutes, including three three-pointers by Hunt. A pullup jumper by junior Jordan Thompson gave the Bears a 26-8 lead with 8:28 left in the opening half and forced Chicago to call its second timeout.

The Bears were held without a field goal over the next nearly six minutes as Chicago closed to within 27-16, before a putback by Gilkey with 2:38 left. The Maroons ended the half with a 7-3 run to head to halftime with Washington U. leading 32-23.

Biewen drove in and converted a three-point play on Washington U.'s first possession of the second half. After a basket by Chicago, Scheppers got a putback and Gilkey made a jumper to extend the Bears' lead to 39-25 with 17:30 left. Chicago took a timeout before Gilkey got a three-pointer to fall and make it 42-25 in favor of the Bears. Chicago banked in a three at the shot clock buzzer, but Gilkey bounced in a fastbreak three-pointer to regain the 17-point lead.

After Chicago scored five straight points, Gilkey made her third straight three-pointer and the Bears got steals on back-to-back Chicago possessions, and a layup by Scheppers made it 51-33 with 11:45 remaining in the game. Washington U. forced seven turnovers and held an 11-3 rebounding advantage in the first nine minutes of the second half. Johanson buried a long jumper and Washington U. scored its next seven points at the free-throw line to extend the lead to 60-38. After a basket by Chicago, Orr hit a three from the wing to give the Bears their largest lead of the game at 63-40 with 3:42 left. The Maroons started pressuring full-court defensively and were able to create turnovers to go on a 12-0 run over the next three minutes. Biewen made two-of-four free throws in the final minute to seal the 13-point win for the Bears.

Washington U. shot 35 percent (21-60) from the field in the game, while Chicago finished with 36.2 percent (21-58) field-goal shooting. The Bears were 7-of-17 from three-point range, while limiting the Maroons to 5-of-20 from beyond the arc. Washington U. also scored 16 points at the free-throw line, despite shooting 59.3 percent. The Maroons were 5-of-7 (71.4 percent) from the foul line in the game.

After holding a 23-22 edge in rebounding in the first half, Washington U. outrebounded the Maroons 27-9 in the second half to finish with a 50-31 advantage. The Bears had 23 offensive boards, including a combined 15 by Biewen and Gilkey. Washington U. finished with an 18-8 advantage in second-chance points.

Washington U. improved to 12-0, 1-0 in the UAA, while Chicago dropped to 6-6, 0-1 in conference play. The Bears host Emory University at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 16, in the UAA home opener, before taking on the University of Rochester at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 18, on Staff and Family Day at the WU Field House.

Bear Notebook: Washington U. improved to 47-13 all-time against Chicago, and has won each of the last five meetings between the two teams  … The Bears are 321-50 (.865) all-time in UAA play, including a 23-5 record in conference openers … It was head coach Nancy Fahey's 675th career win in her 29 seasons at Washington U. … The 52 points was a season-low for Chicago … The Bears have outrebounded 11 of their 12 opponents this season, and are 70-7 since the 2011-12 season when winning the rebounding battle … Gilkey increased her career rebounding total to 747, passing Rebecca Parker (2003-07) for fourth on the Washington U. all-time career list … Scheppers passed Sarah Goldman (1990-94) for eighth on the Bears' career steals leaderboard, bringing her career total to 158 … Gilkey went past the 1,400-point mark in the win and now has 1,412.