St. Louis, Mo., Jan. 18, 2015 – Junior Katybeth Biewen accounted for nine of the team's 12 steals and the No. 4-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team finished with a 24-8 advantage in points off turnovers as the Bears earned an 87-52 win over the University of Rochester in University Athletic Association (UAA) action Sunday afternoon at the WU Field House.
Washington U. got off to a slow start offensively, allowing Rochester to build a 15-9 lead as the Bears were just 3-of-17 from the field before a putback by senior Melissa Gilkey cut the lead to four with 10:22 left in the half. The Yellowjackets gained their largest lead of the half at 20-13 on a three-pointer with 9:10 to play. The Bears turned up their defensive pressure and three steals in 35 seconds by Biewen led to back-to-back three-pointers by seniors Alyssa Johanson and Maddy Scheppers that gave Washington U. its first lead of the game at 24-20 with 6:27 to play.
Gilkey knocked down a pair of bonus free throws, and Scheppers hit another three from the baseline to make it a 16-0 run for the Bears in the span of four minutes. After Rochester made a three to get to within 31-25 with 4:44 left in the half, Scheppers made a pullup jumper and banked in a three-pointer to quickly make it an 11-point advantage for the Bears with 3:29 to play.
A second-chance basket by the Yellowjackets cut the lead to single digits, but junior Amanda Martinez grabbed an offensive rebound off a missed free throw by the Bears and sophomore Ereka Hunt hit a three. After a turnover by Rochester, Hunt made a pullup jumper to give the Bears their largest lead of the half at 41-27 with 2:09 to play. Rochester made a free throw in the final minute to make it a 13-point lead for Washington U. at halftime.
The Bears continued its run in the second half, scoring 18 of the first 24 points of the half to stretch its lead to 59-34 on a jumper by Martinez with 11:59 remaining. The Yellowjackets scored the next six points, but the Bears answered with a 13-0 run over the next five minutes, including eight straight points by Gilkey, to extend the lead to 72-40.
Washington U. shot 50 percent (32-64) from the field in the game, including 9-of-18 from three-point range. Rochester finished with 37.3 percent (19-51) field-goal shooting and was 4-of-19 from beyond the arc, including 0-of-8 in the second half. The Bears outrebounded Rochester 44-30 in the game and finished with a 20-11 advantage in second-chance points.
Gilkey notched her eighth double-double of the season with 26 points and 11 rebounds. Scheppers added 18 points, including four three-pointers, and pulled down a season-high seven rebounds. Biewen finished with nine points, a career-high nine steals, five assists and five rebounds. Senior Steph Vukotic pulled down six rebounds, including five on the offensive glass, and Martinez grabbed five rebounds off the bench.
Washington U. improved to 14-0 overall and 3-0 in the UAA, while Rochester dropped to 9-5 on the season, 1-2 in the conference. The Bears return to action with a pair of road games next weekend. Washington U. faces No. 8 New York University at 6 p.m. (ET) Friday, Jan. 23, in New York City, before traveling to Waltham, Mass., to square off against Brandeis University at 2 p.m. (ET) Sunday, Jan. 25.
Bear Notebook: Washington U. is 42-14 all-time against Rochester … The Yellowjackets had won the last three meetings between the two teams at the WU Field House … The Bears are 177-10 (.947) in UAA games at the WU Field House all-time … The Bears have outrebounded 13 of their 14 opponents this season, and are 72-7 since the 2011-12 season when winning the rebounding battle … Biewen's nine steals led to 17 points for the Bears … Gilkey increased her career rebounding total to 765, passing Angie Kohnen (1994-98) for third on the Bears' all-time career leaderboard … It was Gilkey's seventh 20-plus point performance of the season and 22nd of her career … Scheppers has now scored in double figures in 35 career games … Hunt has made at least one three-pointer in each of Washington U.'s last six games … Twelve players scored for the Bears, marking the 10th time this season Washington U. has had at least 10 individuals in the scoring column.