Pittsburgh, Pa., Jan. 17, 2016 – Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball head coach Nancy Fahey became the fourth coach in NCAA Division III history to reach 700 wins as the No. 11-ranked Bears earned a 63-50 win at No. 21 and previously unbeaten Carnegie Mellon University Sunday afternoon.
Fahey is the second-fastest coach in NCAA men's and women's basketball history to reach 700 wins, doing so in her 826th game. University of Connecticut head women's coach Geno Auriemma, who reached the milestone in his 822nd game, is the only coach to accomplish the feat faster than Fahey.
"After the game, I reminded the team of all of the past Bears they represented today," Fahey said. "I haven't made a shot, ran a line or lifted a weight. This win is about the tradition of WashU women's basketball."
The Bears played stingy defense throughout the game, limiting Carnegie Mellon to a season-low 32.7 percent (16-49) from the field, including just 2-of-16 from three-point range. WashU finished with 38.8 percent shooting (26-67) in the game, including 44.8 percent (13-29) in the second half, and made 8-of-20 from beyond the arc. The Bears forced 20 turnovers, including 11 steals, and finished with a 15-0 advantage in points off turnovers.
WashU held Carnegie Mellon without a field goal until the 1:36 mark of the opening quarter as the Bears built a 15-4 lead on a three-pointer by senior Alexandra Keane. After four points by the Tartans, freshman Steph Botkin made a jumper to give the Bears a 17-8 lead at the end of the first period.
The Bears continued to play tough defense at the start of the second quarter. Putbacks by senior Amanda Martinez and Botkin, and a reverse layup by senior Jordan Thompson extended WashU's lead to 23-10 with 7:08 to play in the half. CMU scored the next five points, but Botkin answered with a three to make it 26-15. After a timeout by the Tartans, Botkin scored on a left-handed drive and freshman Sarah Greene hit a jumper to give the Bears' their largest lead of the half (30-15) with 3:08 remaining. Carnegie Mellon scored the final four points of the half to make it an 11-point game at the break.
WashU started slowly in the second half, scoring just three points in the first five minutes, but maintained a 33-25 lead. Sophomore Natalie Orr jump started the offense, scoring the next 14 points in a row for the Bears, including three-pointers on four straight possessions. A pair of free throws by Carnegie Mellon in the final 15 seconds made it 47-33 in favor of the Bears heading into the fourth quarter.
Orr hit her sixth three-pointer of the game to make it 52-35 in favor of the Bears with 7:22 remaining. The Tartans got to within 12 on a three-point play with 3:33 to play in the game. Junior Jenn Dynis hit back-to-back jumpers and Botkin made a layup to give WashU its largest lead of the game at 60-42 with 1:52 left before finishing with the 13-point win.
Orr finished with a career-high 20 points, including 6-of-9 from three-point range, to lead the Bears offensively. Botkin added a career-high 14 points and five rebounds off the bench, while Dynis finished with a career-best 10 points and five rebounds in her first start of the season. Martinez chipped in with seven points and a team-high seven rebounds. Thompson finished with seven assists to go with her three points and five rebounds, while senior Katybeth Biewen had two points, four offensive rebounds, three assists and five steals.
WashU improved to 12-2 overall and 3-0 in the UAA, while Carnegie Mellon dropped to 13-1 and 2-1 in the conference. WashU hosts Brandeis University at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22, to begin a four-game home stand. The Bears then take on No. 4 New York University at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24, at the WU Field House.
Bear Notebook: WashU leads the all-time series against Carnegie Mellon 52-3, and the Bears have won each of the last 45 games between the two teams … Carnegie Mellon entered the week leading NCAA Division III in field-goal percentage (49.2) … The Bears held the NCAA Division III-leading scorer, Lisa Murphy, nine points below her average and below 20 points for just the third time this season … WashU had double-digit steals for the 10th time this season … The Bears improved to 335-53 (.863) all-time in UAA play … Biewen's five steals brought her career total to 150, three shy of entering WashU's all-time top-10 list.