Crestview Hills, Ky., March 13, 2015 – Four players scored in double figures for the No. 8-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team, but the Bears had their season end with a 103-90 loss at No. 1 Thomas More College in the NCAA Division III Sectional Semifinal Friday night.
Senior Maddy Scheppers scored a career-high 24 points and added four assists to lead WashU, while junior Jordan Thompson added a season-high 22 points and three assists. Senior Alyssa Johanson recorded the first double-double of her career by equaling her career-high with 19 points and 13 rebounds, while also adding three assists. Senior Melissa Gilkey finished with 15 points and four rebounds. Senior Steph Vukotic added six points and seven rebounds off the bench.
"It was an incredible game. Our effort was phenomenal and the intensity of that game was one of the highest I've ever been associated with," head coach Nancy Fahey said. "It was a tough game to lose but I couldn't be more proud."
After trailing by eight at halftime, Scheppers, Johanson and Gilkey scored nine of the first 10 points of the second half, and Johanson's baseline jumper gave WashU a 53-52 lead with 17:05 to play. The Saints regained the lead with back-to-back baskets, and the teams traded baskets until a three by Thomas More junior Sydney Moss extended the Saints' lead to 63-59 ahead of the under-12 media timeout.
A free throw by Gilkey made it a three-point game, but Thomas More got a pair of layups to extend the lead to 67-60 with 11:29 to play. A layup by Vukotic brought WashU within three (69-66) with 10:04 left, but Thomas More went on a 12-4 run to make it an 11-point lead with 6:43 remaining. After a timeout by the Bears, Thompson and Gilkey made three free throws and Scheppers hit a fastbreak three to trim the lead to five with 4:51 left. After Thomas More stretched the lead back to eight, Thompson hit a three to again make it a five-point game with 2:49 to play, but the Bears were unable to get any closer as Thomas More scored 10 of its final 17 points at the free-throw line.
WashU jumped out to a 6-2 lead, before Moss scored eight straight points to give the Saints a 10-6 lead. Scheppers converted a three-point play to make it a one-point lead, before Moss made one of two free throws to make it 11-9. A jumper by Johanson tied the game at 11-11 with 14:50 left in the first half.
Moss scored the next seven points, and two more free throws by the Saints extended their lead to 20-11 with 13:10 to play in the half. Trailing 22-13, WashU scored seven straight points after the under-12 media timeout, capped by a three-pointer by Thompson that cut the Thomas More lead to 22-20 with 10:26 left in the half and forced a timeout by the Saints. Leading 24-22, Saints' senior Sydni Wainscott converted a four-point play to extend the lead to six with 9:31 remaining in the opening half.
The Bears cut the lead to 28-26 on a pullup jumper by Thompson, but the Saints got back-to-back layups to extend the lead to 32-26. Johanson drained a baseline three to cut the deficit to 32-29, and junior Amanda Martinez forced a turnover by Thomas More ahead of the under-eight media timeout. A free throw by Scheppers and a driving layup by Johanson again pulled the Bears within two (36-34) with 4:28 to play in the first half. Wainscott answered with a three and scored 10 points as the Saints went on a 14-6 run to extend the lead to 10 with 1:11 left. Scheppers and Johanson scored the final eight points of the half for the Bears, who trailed 51-44 at the half.
WashU shot 47.6 percent from the field in the game, and was 24-of-28 at the free-throw line. Thomas More shot 54 percent from the field, including 11-of-23 from beyond the arc, and was 24-of-32 from the foul line. The Bears finished with a 37-28 rebounding advantage.
WashU finished the season with a 25-3 overall record. The Bears' senior class of Gilkey, Johanson, Alexandra Keane, Alexis Mort, Scheppers and Vukotic led WashU to a 92-18 record in their four seasons.
Bear Notebook: Gilkey started all 110 career games for the Bears, while Scheppers started 93 of 110 career games and Johanson started 56 of 107 games played … Gilkey finished her career with 1,707 points, which ranks second on WashU's all-time leaderboard … She was also third in career rebounding (876), fourth in blocked shots (144) and sixth in career free-throw percentage (.785) … Scheppers scored 986 career points, and ranked third on the Bears' career three-pointers made list (147) and sixth in career steals (180) … Johanson finished third on WashU's career free-throw percentage list (.810) … Gilkey's 534 points (fifth), 45 blocks (seventh) and 249 rebounds (eighth) all rank in the Bears' top-10 single-season leaderboards … Scheppers finished the season with 66 three-pointers, which is fifth on the all-time single-season list … Junior Katybeth Biewen totaled 67 steals this season, which is eighth on the single-season list … Thompson enters her senior season ranked fourth on WashU's career assists leaderboard with 329.