Defense Keys No. 9 Bears to 58-46 Win Over No. 11 NYU

Defense Keys No. 9 Bears to 58-46 Win Over No. 11 NYU

St. Louis, Mo., Feb. 20, 2015 – The No. 9-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team held No. 11 New York University to a season-low 46 points as the Bears earned a 58-46 win over the Violets in University Athletic Association (UAA) action Friday evening at the WU Field House.

WashU improved to 21-2 overall and 10-2 in the UAA with the win, while NYU dropped to 20-3 overall and 9-3 in the conference. The Bears are now second in the UAA standings behind the University of Chicago (17-6, 11-1 UAA), while NYU is third with two games remaining in the regular season.

WashU's defense limited NYU to 2-of-8 from the field and forced four early turnovers, and senior Melissa Gilkey converted a four-point play to give the Bears a 13-5 lead with 14:47 left in the first half. The four-point play was part of an 11-1 run for the Bears over a span of eight minutes that gave them an 18-5 lead with 9:17 to play in the half. After five straight points for the Violets forced WashU to take a timeout, junior Jordan Thompson drained a three-pointer to regain a double-digit lead for the Bears with 6:58 to play in the half.

The Bears then used a 9-2 run, including seven points by senior guard Maddy Scheppers to take their largest lead of the half at 30-14 with 3:57 left. Scheppers added a layup with 2:04 left in the half, but NYU sophomore Kaitlyn Read scored six straight points to cut the lead to 32-23. Scheppers was fouled on a rebound with 3.4 seconds left in the half and made both free throws to give the Bears a 34-23 lead at halftime.

A three-point play by Read cut the Bears' lead to 36-28 with 18:17 remaining, but senior Alyssa Johanson hit back-to-back baskets to spark an 8-2 run for WashU that pushed the lead back to 44-30 with 15:42 to play. Following a layup by NYU sophomore Megan Dawe, Gilkey got a three-point play on a putback and baskets by freshman Natalie Orr and Scheppers gave the Bears their largest lead of the game at 51-32 with 10:38 left in the game.

The Violets got to within 11 (53-42) with a 10-2 run over the next four minutes, before Gilkey made a second-chance basket with 4:41 to play to end the run. The teams combined to go 0-for-4 at the free-throw line over the next three minutes, and a putback by Dawe brought NYU to within 55-46 with less than a minute to play. The Bears' defense forced turnovers on NYU's next two possessions, and Johanson made 3-of-4 at the free-throw line to seal the 12-point win for WashU.

WashU shot 32.3 percent (21-65) from the field in the game, while NYU finished with 34.7 percent (17-49) shooting from the field. The Violets were just 2-of 17 from three-point range (11.8 percent) and made just 10-of-22 from the free-throw line for a season-low 45.5 percent. WashU finished slightly better with 3-of-17 from beyond the arc, and the Bears were 13-of-19 at the foul line. WashU also finished with a 46-41 rebounding edge, and turned 22 offensive rebounds into a 26-13 advantage in second-chance points.

Gilkey led all players with 16 points and eight rebounds. Scheppers recorded the fourth double-double of her career with 15 points and a team-high 10 rebounds, including six on the offensive glass, while also adding with three steals. Johanson also finished in double figures with 11 points, while senior Steph Vukotic added seven points and five rebounds off the bench. Thompson finished with five points, five assists and equaled her season-high with five rebounds.

WashU returns to action by hosting Brandeis University at 2 p.m. Sunday. It will be Cancer Prevention and Awareness Day at the WU Field House. The Judges lost 86-69 at the Chicago Friday night.

Bear Notebook: WashU improved to 40-17 all-time against NYU … The Bears are 19-0 this season when leading at halftime … WashU is 10-0 at home this season and 349-29 in head coach Nancy Fahey's 29 seasons … The Bears are 2-1 against ranked opponents this season, with the only loss coming in a 64-58 defeat at NYU Jan. 23 … It was the 330th UAA victory for the Bears, and their 180th at the WU Field House … WashU has outrebounded 19 of its 23 opponents this season and is 78-7 since 2011-12 when winning the rebounding battle … Bears' two-time first-team All-American Kelly Manning (2002-06) was one of seven individuals inducted into the WU Sports Hall of Fame Friday … Gilkey surpassed 1,600 points for her career (1,607), while Scheppers went past 900 (907) … Thompson passed Emily Harold (1996-00) for seventh on the Bears' all-time career assists leaderboard with 305 … Scheppers' three steals moved her past Amy Wiegner (1985-89) for seventh on the career steals list with 170 … Scheppers also tied Amy Schweizer (1997-98) for eighth on WashU's single-season three-pointers list with her 52nd make of the season.