No. 3 Women's Basketball Runs Past Brandeis in Second Half

No. 3 Women's Basketball Runs Past Brandeis in Second Half

Waltham, Mass., Jan. 25, 2015 – The No. 3-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team erased a 12-point halftime deficit with a 20-0 run midway through the second half to post a 77-58 road win at Brandeis University Sunday afternoon in Waltham, Mass.

The Bears limited Brandeis without a field goal for more than eight minutes and 22.6 percent shooting (7-of-22) in the second half, outscoring Brandeis 45-14.

Washington U. improved to 15-1, 4-1 in the University Athletic Association (UAA), while Brandeis dropped to 9-7, 1-4 in the UAA. The Bears moved into a three-way tie for first place in the UAA standings following University of Chicago's 87-73 win over No. 7 New York University in the Big Apple.

Senior forward Melissa Gilkey recorded her 28th career double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds, while junior guard Jordan Thompson notched her first career double-double with 15 points and a season-high 10 assists. Thompson moved past Bethany Morrison (2009-12) for 10th in school history with 279 career assists.

Freshman guard Natalie Orr added a career-high 11 points, with 10 of those points coming during the 20-0 run, and junior forward Amanda Martinez added six points and a career-high 13 rebounds (eight offensive).

Washington U. shot 37.8 percent for the game, but connected on 53.1 percent (17-of-32) in the second half. The Bears had 19 assists and a season-low six turnovers, and outrebounded Brandeis 53-37. Washington U. turned 25 offensive rebounds into 31 second-chance points.

Brandeis had the upper hand in the opening six minutes of play building a six-point advantage (18-12) after hitting 7-of-12 shots from the field and all four of its free throws. The Judges got the lead into double figures (26-16) with 11:40 to play after eight straight points by Paris Hodges.

Washington U. faced its largest deficit of the first half (29-16) with 10:49 to play. Thompson canned a three-pointer from the wing to snap a string of seven straight misses by the Bears from beyond the arc to make it 30-21.

Thompson's three-pointer ignited an 11-2 run as the Bears trimmed the lead to 32-29 with 6:06 left. Thompson had eight points on two threes during the run. The Bears went without a field goal for the final 6:45 and trailed 44-32 at halftime.

Washington U. shot 26.2 percent (11-of-42) in the first half, including 3-of-14 from three-point range. Gilkey had nine points to lead the Bears, while Thompson added eight. Martinez added five points and 10 rebounds off the bench. Brandeis shot 56.7 percent (17-of-30) from the field in the first half.

Brandeis cooled off from the field in the second half, which allowed the Bears to battle back into the contest.

Trailing by 10, Orr ignited a 20-0 run to give the Bears a 62-52 lead. Orr had a long two and a three-pointer on back-to-back possessions, and senior center Steph Vukotic's layup with 11:52 to play gave Washington U. its first lead of the game at 53-52. Orr added three free throws and a bucket during the 20-0 run as the Bears limited Brandeis without a field goal for more than eight minutes.

Hannah Cain (15 points) and Hodges (13) scored in double figures for Brandeis, which shot 39.3 percent (24-of-61) for the game and hit just 3-of-17 from three-point range.

Washington U. returns home to host Carnegie Mellon University Friday, Jan. 30 at 6 p.m. and Case Western Reserve University Sunday, Feb. 1, at 2 p.m. The Bears will host Eliot Family Night Friday.

Bear Notebook: Washington U. is 50-3 all-time against Brandeis and has won each of the last 14 meetings … The Bears are 3-0 this season and have won nine straight contests when playing on Sunday … Brandeis entered the day second in the UAA in field-goal percentage defense (.332) … The Bears have won 15 or more games in all 29 seasons under head coach Nancy Fahey.