St. Louis, Mo., Jan. 9, 2016 – The No. 11-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team led from start to finish to open its University Athletic Association (UAA) schedule with an 80-63 win over the University of Chicago Saturday afternoon.
The Bears came out aggressively, grabbing 10 of the first 11 rebounds and limiting Chicago to 0-for-7 from the field in the opening five minutes as the Bears built a 13-0 lead. After a three-point play got the Maroons on the scoreboard, sophomore Natalie Orr and junior Ereka Hunt hit back-to-back baseline threes to give WashU its largest lead of the half at 19-3 with 3:32 remaining in the opening quarter.
Chicago found its offensive rhythm and went on a 15-4 run over the next seven minutes to cut WashU's lead to 23-18 with 6:20 to play in the half. The Bears answered with an 8-1 run, and a step-back three by senior Jordan Thompson made it 34-21 in favor of WashU with 2:30 left in the half. The Maroons scored the next six points, but WashU scored six of the last seven of the quarter and a pair of free throws by junior Lily Sarros gave the Bears a 40-28 advantage at halftime.
The Maroons cut the deficit to single digits six different times in the third quarter, getting as close as 50-43 with 4:04 left in the period. WashU had an answer each time and finished the quarter with a 14-5 run to extend the lead to 64-48 heading into the fourth. Chicago made two free throws to start the final quarter, but 14 points was as close as the Maroons could get the remainder of the game. The Bears scored 10 of the next 12 points, including five straight points by junior Jenn Dynis, to take their largest lead of the game at 74-52 with 5:31 remaining before finishing with the 17-point victory.
WashU shot 44.4 percent from the field (28-63), including 45 percent (9-20) from three-point range. Chicago finished with 38.6 percent field-goal shooting (22-57) and 5-of-16 (31.3 percent) from beyond the arc. The Bears were also 15-of-20 at the free-throw line, while the Maroons were 14-of-22. WashU edged the Maroons 38-37 on the glass, and the Bears also equaled their season-high with eight blocked shots.
Thompson scored a season-high 18 points, and also had three assists and three blocks to lead the Bears. Sarros just missed a double-double with a career-high 16 points and game-high nine rebounds. Orr added 13 points off the bench, including 3-of-4 from three-point range, and equaled her career-high with five rebounds.
WashU improved to 10-2 overall and 1-0 in the UAA with the win, while Chicago dropped to 8-4 overall and 0-1 in the conference. The Bears return to action with a pair of UAA games on the road next weekend at Case Western Reserve University and No. 25 Carnegie Mellon University. WashU takes on Case at 6 p.m. (ET) Friday, Jan. 15, in Cleveland, Ohio, before traveling to Pittsburgh, Pa., to face Carnegie Mellon at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday, Jan. 17.
Bear Notebook: WashU leads the all-time series against Chicago 49-13, and the Bears have won each of the last seven meetings … WashU is 24-5 all-time in UAA openers … It was the Bears' 23rd straight home victory … WashU's 15 free throws made were a season-high … It was the fourth time this season WashU has reached the 80-point mark … The Maroons entered the game ranked second in the UAA shooting 44 percent from the field, and were held below 40 percent for the fifth time this season.