Chicago, Ill., Nov. 20, 2015 – The Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team played tenacious defense, but was limited to eight field goals in the second half as the No. 9-ranked Bears came up short in a 61-57 loss to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Friday evening at the Chicago/WashU Classic being hosted by the University of Chicago.
WashU got off to a quick start, making six of its first seven field goals to build a 14-2 lead. The Bears kept the pressure on and a three-pointer by junior Ereka Hunt gave WashU its largest lead of the game at 21-8 with 1:47 left in the first quarter. The Bears missed their final three field goals of the quarter, though, and UW-Stevens Point took advantage, scoring five quick points to make it 21-13 at the end of the first.
A baseline jumper by senior Katybeth Biewen pushed WashU's lead back to 10, but the Pointers went on a 16-3 run over the next seven-plus minutes to turn the deficit into a three-point lead with 1:08 left in the first half. A turnaround jumper in the lane by senior Amanda Martinez and a second-chance three-pointer by Biewen in the final minute gave WashU a 31-29 advantage at the half.
WashU made four of its first five baskets of the second half to extend the lead to 39-33 with 6:52 remaining in the third quarter. The Pointers answered with a 7-0 run to regain the lead, but back-to-back three-pointers by Hunt made it 45-40 in favor of the Bears with 4:11 remaining in the quarter. The Pointers picked up their outside shooting and WashU missed its final seven shots of the quarter as UW-Stevens Point went on a 10-0 run to take a 50-45 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Pointers extended their lead to eight with their fourth three of the game early in the fourth quarter, before WashU scored seven unanswered points to pull to within 53-52 on a layup by Martinez with 6:58 remaining. After a timeout, UW-Stevens Point scored the next six points to regain a seven-point lead with 3:57 left in the game. The Bears forced four turnovers by the Pointers and went 5-of-6 from the free-throw line over the next three minutes to pull to within 59-57 with less than a minute to play. UW-Stevens Point iced the game with a second-chance layup with less than 15 seconds remaining to hang on for the four-point win.
WashU shot 32.3 percent from the field in the game, but was just 8-of-33 (24.2 percent) in the second half. The Pointers finished with 46.4 percent shooting, including 53.8 percent (14-of-26) in the second half. The Bears forced 17 turnovers in the game, including 13 steals, to finish with a 29-7 advantage in points off turnovers. UW-Stevens Point won the battle inside, finishing with a 42-35 rebounding advantage and a 36-20 advantage in points in the paint.
Martinez led three players in double figures for WashU, finishing with 14 points, three rebounds and three assists. Hunt had a career-high 12 points on 4-of-7 from three-point range. Biewen added 11 points, three rebounds and team-highs of six assists and five steals. Junior Lily Sarros just missed a double-double with nine points and a career-high 11 rebounds, including four on the offensive glass.
WashU dropped to 1-1 with the loss, while UW-Stevens Point improved to 2-0. The Bears return to action at 2 p.m. Saturday against Milwaukee School of Engineering on the second day of the Chicago/WashU Classic.
Bear Notebook: UW-Stevens Point improved to 3-0 all-time against WashU … It was the first meeting between the two teams since 2004 … Biewen has 10 steals in the Bears' first two games of the season, bringing her career total to 127.