Cleveland, Ohio, Jan. 15, 2016 – A strong second-half performance allowed the No. 11-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team to pull away for a 64-55 win at Case Western Reserve University in University Athletic Association (UAA) action Friday night.
WashU improved to 11-2 overall and 2-0 in the UAA with the win, while Case dropped to 5-8 and 0-2 in the conference. The Bears continue their conference road trip by traveling to Pittsburgh, Pa., to face No. 21 Carnegie Mellon University. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday.
Leading by six heading into the fourth quarter, WashU had its advantage cut to 46-44 after a three-pointer by Case with 7:50 left in the game. Sophomore Natalie Orr buried a three, then drove for a three-point play on a scooping layup. Baskets by freshman Steph Botkin and senior Amanda Martinez gave the Bears their largest lead of the game at 56-45 with 3:43 to play. The Spartans made three free throws and hit a three-pointer to get to within 57-52 with less than a minute remaining, but WashU converted 7-of-8 free throws in the final 40 seconds to seal the win.
The teams played a back-and-forth first quarter, with Case gaining the largest advantage of the period at 11-8 with 3:19 left. Senior Jordan Thompson hit a step-back jumper and a free throw to tie the score heading into the second quarter.
Baskets by junior Lily Sarros, Thompson and Martinez made it 19-15 in favor of WashU early in the second quarter, before a three-pointer by the Spartans cut WashU's lead to one with 6:25 to play in the half. Martinez got a putback and junior Zoe Vernon hit a baseline jumper to stretch the lead to five for WashU. Case pulled to within three twice in the final two minutes of the half, but a basket by Sarros and a free throw by Thompson gave the Bears their largest lead of the half (28-22) entering the break.
After Case got to within 33-31, Orr hit a three and Vernon knocked down a baseline jumper to quickly make it a seven-point advantage for WashU. After a three by the Spartans, Martinez made a fastbreak layup and junior Jenn Dynis made a wide open layup off a bullet of a pass from Thompson. A basket by Case made it 42-36 in favor of WashU heading into the fourth quarter.
The Bears finished with 32.9 percent (24-73) field-goal shooting in the game, while Case shot 38.5 percent (20-52) from the field. The Spartans also made eight three-pointers to just two for the Bears. WashU finished with a 51-35 rebounding advantage in the game, outrebounding the Spartans 28-14 in the second half. The Bears matched a season-high with 17 steals, turning 24 Case turnovers into a 21-5 advantage in points off turnovers.
Martinez recorded the second double-double of her career with 15 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, including eight on the offensive glass. Thompson also had 15 points, six assists and a career-high four steals. Orr added nine points and three steals off the bench, while Sarros had eight points and nine rebounds. Vernon also finished with a career-high nine rebounds to go with her four points.
Bear Notebook: WashU leads the all-time series against Case 44-1 … It was WashU's sixth straight win in the series … The win was No. 699 for head coach Nancy Fahey.