No. 9 Women’s Basketball Holds Off Case in 71-60 Win

No. 9 Women’s Basketball Holds Off Case in 71-60 Win

St. Louis, Mo., Feb. 1, 2015 – The No. 9-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team used a 12-2 run in the second half to earn a 71-60 win over Case Western Reserve University in University Athletic Association (UAA) play Sunday afternoon at the WU Field House.

After holding a two-point lead at halftime, Washington U. opened the second half with an 8-2 run, including six points by senior Melissa Gilkey, to extend the lead to 41-33 with 15:24 to play. A baseline drive by junior Katybeth Biewen pushed the lead to 47-36 with 12:16 left, but Case answered with a 9-0 run over the next 2:15 to pull to within 47-45 with 10:01 remaining in the game. A baseline jumper by senior Alyssa Johanson, followed by a fastbreak layup by Gilkey quickly gave the Bears a 51-45 advantage in the next minute.

Washington U. converted eight straight free-throws to continue the 12-2 run and take their largest lead of the game at 59-47 with 6:10 on the clock. The Spartans made a three with 3:41 left to cut the lead to 63-54, but freshman Natalie Orr made her second three of the game on the Bears' next possession to regain the 12-point advantage. The Spartans got to within eight twice in the final three minutes, but Gilkey put away a layup and Orr made one of two free throws to give the Bears the 71-60 victory.

Case jumped out to an 11-4 lead in the first six minutes of the game. After a pair of free throws by Gilkey cut the lead to five, Case's Brooke Orcutt made her second three-pointer of the half to give the Spartans their largest lead of the half with 13:45 left. A turnaround jumper by senior Maddy Scheppers and a free throw by junior Amanda Martinez brought the Bears within 14-9, before a three-pointer and a pullup jumper by Orr tied the game at 14-14 with 10:43 to play in the half.

The Spartans used a pair of offensive rebounds to drain a three-pointer and regain a 17-14 advantage, but Martinez converted a three-point play to tie it again, and a three-pointer by Gilkey with 8:52 left in the half gave the Bears their first lead of the game. A basket by Case made it a one-point advantage but Gilkey scored a three-point play with 7:45 remaining to extend the lead to 23-19. The Spartans again pulled to within one at 27-26 with 2:48 left in the half after making 3-of-4 free throws, but layups by Biewen and senior Steph Vukotic gave the Bears their largest lead of the half at 31-26 with 1:27 to play. The Bears maintained the five-point lead, but a three-pointer by Case with 17 seconds left made the halftime score 33-31.

Washington U. shot 47.4 percent from the field, but was just 3-of-12 from three-point range. The Spartans finished with 35 percent field-goal shooting and were 6-of-13 from beyond the arc, including 4-of-5 in the first half. The Bears were outrebounded for just the third time this season as Case finished with a 40-33 advantage on the glass. Washington U. turned 21 Case turnovers into a 23-10 advantage in points off turnovers.

Gilkey recorded a game-high 28 points, seven rebounds and four blocks. Orr scored in double figures for the third game in a row, with 15 points, four rebounds and four assists off the bench. Johanson added six points and six rebounds, while Biewen tallied six points and team highs of five assists and three steals.

Washington U. improved to 17-1 overall and 6-1 in the UAA, while Case dropped to 7-11 overall and 1-6 in the conference. The Bears begin the second half of conference play with a four-game roadtrip. Washington U. travels to Pittsburgh and Cleveland to take on Carnegie Mellon University at 6 p.m. (ET) Friday, Feb. 6, followed by a game at Case Western Reserve University at 2 p.m. (ET) Sunday, Feb. 8.

Bear Notebook: Washington U. improved to 42-1 all-time against Case … The Bears have a 179-10 (.947) all-time record in UAA play at the WU Field House … Washington U. is 15-0 this season when leading at halftime … Gilkey made her 100th consecutive career start for the Bears, while Scheppers also played in her 100th career game, making her 83rd start … Gilkey became the fourth player in school history to surpass 1,500 career points, increasing her career scoring total to 1,526 … It was Gilkey's ninth performance of 20 or more points this season.