St. Louis, Mo., Jan. 22, 2016 – Sophomore Natalie Orr scored a career-high 24 points and the No. 8-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team used an 11-0 run midway through the fourth quarter to battle to a 65-59 win over Brandeis University Friday night in University Athletic Association (UAA) action.
WashU led 49-47 after three quarters, but Brandeis scored seven of the first nine points of the fourth quarter to take a 54-51 lead with 7:57 to play. The Bears defense forced six turnovers, including five steals by senior Katybeth Biewen, while holding Brandeis scoreless over the next five minutes. Orr hit a jumper to cap the 11-0 run for WashU that gave the Bears a 62-54 lead with 3:40 to play. The Judges scored the next five points to get to within three, but Orr hit a pair of free throws with 14 seconds left to make it 64-59, and a free throw by freshman Claudia Smith sealed the six-point win.
The Bears jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the opening three minutes of the game, before a putback by the Judges made it a two-point game. After a basket by junior Jenn Dynis forced a Brandeis timeout, Orr hit the first of her four threes in the game. She scored 13 points on 5-of-5 shooting from the field in the final five minutes of the first quarter, and her putback just ahead of the buzzer gave the Bears a 23-14 lead after one period.
Biewen scored on a fastbreak layup that gave the Bears their largest lead of the game at 25-14 with 8:23 to play in the second quarter. Brandeis answered with a 9-0 run, and outscored the Bears 15-6 in the quarter to head to halftime with the score tied at 29-29. WashU opened the third quarter with an 8-2 run and a middle drive by senior Jordan Thompson made it 37-31 in favor of the Bears with 7:48 left in the third. The Judges battled back to tie at 47-47 with a three-pointer, before freshman Steph Botkin buried a baseline jumper to give WashU a two-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
WashU finished with 36.2 percent field-goal shooting (21-58) in the game, including 6-of-18 (33.3 percent) from three-point range. Brandeis shot 43.1 percent (22-51) from the field, the team's second-highest shooting percentage this season, and was 5-of-14 from beyond the arc. The Judges also outrebounded WashU 41-35, but the Bears finished with a 20-8 advantage in second-chance points.
Orr topped the 20-point mark for the second game in a row, finishing with a game-high 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field and 4-of-7 from three-point range. She also grabbed four rebounds, including three on the offensive glass. Dynis added a career-high 11 points and four steals, while also pulling down four rebounds. Thompson finished with 10 points, a season-high six rebounds and four assists. Biewen filled the stat sheet with six points, career-highs of nine rebounds and two blocks, four assists and a season-high seven steals.
WashU improved to 13-2 overall and 4-0 in the UAA, while Brandeis fell to 8-7 and 1-3 in the conference. The Bears finish the weekend by hosting No. 9 New York University at 2 p.m. Sunday. NYU earned a 71-55 win at the University of Chicago Friday night to sit in third place in the UAA standings behind WashU and the University of Rochester.
Bear Notebook: WashU is 52-3 all-time against Brandeis, and the Bears have won each of the last 16 games in the series … The Bears have won 24 consecutive home games, dating to Feb. 7, 2014 … Biewen's seven steals brought her career total to 157 and moved her past Sarah Schell (2003-07) and Sarah Goldman (1990-94) for ninth on WashU's all-time career leaderboard … Thompson made her 100th career three-pointer in the game, and scored in double figures for the 30th time in her career … WashU finished with 16 steals, the 11th time this season the Bears have had double-digit steals … The Bears also forced 21 turnovers, the 11th time this season the opponent has had 20 or more turnovers.