St. Louis, Mo., Jan. 16, 2015 – The No. 4-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team got 34 points from its bench players and the Bears pulled away late in the second half for a 66-59 University Athletic Association (UAA) win over Emory University Friday night at the WU Field House.
After leading by eight at halftime, Washington U. got the first basket of the second half on a fastbreak layup by junior Katybeth Biewen to make it a 35-25 lead. Emory answered by outscoring the Bears 13-2 over the next six minutes to take its first lead since early in the first half at 38-37 with 13:34 remaining. Junior Jordan Thompson ended the Bears' four-plus minute scoreless streak by hitting a three-pointer to give them the lead back, but the teams traded leads four more times over the next four minutes before a basket by the Eagles tied the score at 48-48 with 7:36 to play.
On the Bears' next possession, freshman Natalie Orr drained a three from the wing, and a baseline jumper by Orr gave the Bears a 53-48 lead with 6:45 remaining in the game. After a three by Emory cut the lead to two, senior Melissa Gilkey made a layup and senior Alyssa Johanson buried a jumper from just inside the arc to stretch the lead to 57-51 with 3:48 to play. Another basket by Gilkey made it an eight-point advantage for the Bears and forced a timeout by Emory. After a basket by the Eagles and a timeout by Washington U., Thompson hit a three with two seconds on the shot clock to push the lead to 62-53 with 1:11 on the clock. A free throw and three-pointer for Emory cut the lead to five, but Washington U. made 4-of-6 free throws in the final minute to seal the win, before a pair of free throws for the Eagles made the final score 66-59.
Emory took an early 6-5 lead with 16:36 to play in the opening half, but the Bears went on a 12-0 run, including a pair of three-pointers by sophomore Ereka Hunt, to gain a 17-6 advantage with 11:35 left in the half. The Eagles got to within seven at 22-15 with a three-point play with 7:45 to play in the first half, but a basket by Gilkey and a three-pointer by senior Maddy Scheppers quickly made it a double-digit lead again. A putback by senior Steph Vukotic and a three-pointer by Orr gave the Bears their largest lead of the game at 33-18 with 1:29 left in the half. Emory scored the final seven points of the half to head to halftime with Washington U. holding a 33-25 lead.
Washington U. shot 41.7 percent (25-60) from the field in the game, including nine three-pointers. Emory finished with 40.7 percent (24-59) shooting from the field, and was just 4-of-14 from three-point range. The Bears edged Emory 43-42 in the rebounding battle. Both teams struggled at the free-throw line, shooting a combined 14-of-37.
Gilkey led the Bears with 15 points, seven rebounds and two steals. Thompson also finished in double-figures with 10 points, five rebounds and six assists. Hunt equaled her season-highs with nine points and five rebounds, while Orr had career-highs of eight points and four assists. Johanson also added eight points and five rebounds, and Scheppers finished with seven points, three rebounds and three assists. Vukotic tallied six points on 3-of-4 shooting, while also finishing with six rebounds and two blocked shots.
Washington U. moved to 13-0 overall and 2-0 in the UAA with the win, while Emory dropped to 8-5 overall and 0-2 in the conference. The Bears return to action by hosting the University of Rochester at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 18, on Faculty/Staff and Family Day at the WU Field House.
Bear Notebook: Washington U. is now 46-6 all-time against Emory and the Bears have won each of the last five meetings … The Bears are 176-10 (.946) in UAA games at the WU Field House all-time … Washington U. had a season-high 23 assists on 25 field goals in the game … The Bears have outrebounded 12 of their 13 opponents this season, and are 71-7 since the 2011-12 season when winning the rebounding battle.