St. Louis, Mo., Jan. 31, 2016 – The No. 10-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team finished the first half of conference play with a 75-68 win over Emory University Sunday afternoon in University Athletic Association (UAA) play.
WashU improved to 15-3 overall and 6-1 in the UAA, while Emory dropped to 10-8 overall and 1-6 in the conference. Midway through the conference schedule, WashU is tied atop the UAA standings with New York University (17-1, 6-1 UAA). The Bears begin the second half of the UAA schedule by traveling to the University of Rochester and Emory next weekend. WashU faces No. 7 Rochester at 6 p.m. (ET) Friday, Feb. 5, followed by a 2 p.m. (ET) game at Emory Sunday, Feb. 7.
After trailing 39-34 at halftime, WashU got a putback by senior Amanda Martinez and a pullup jumper by sophomore Natalie Orr midway through the third quarter to take a 47-46 lead. After four straight points by the Eagles, WashU finished the quarter with a 6-0 run, including five points by Martinez, to take a 53-50 lead heading into the fourth.
The Bears maintained the lead until a three by Emory tied the score at 59-59 with 5:27 to play. After a timeout by WashU, senior Jordan Thompson converted a three-point play, and Martinez made 3-of-4 free throws to give WashU a two-possession lead at 65-59. A three-pointer by Emory closed the deficit to three, but senior Katybeth Biewen got a big offensive rebound and Orr hit a jumper in the lane as the shot clock expired to push the lead to five. A pair of free throws by Orr gave the Bears their largest lead of the game (69-62) with 1:25 to play. Emory hit a pair of threes in the final 70 seconds to stay in the game, but WashU was 6-of-8 at the foul line down the stretch to seal the win.
Emory scored on its opening possession before WashU scored seven straight points to take a 7-2 lead with 8:03 remaining. The Eagles rallied with a 10-2 run to take a 14-11 lead with 3:44 to play in the first quarter before Orr buried her second three of the game to tie the score with 3:20 left. The Eagles regained the lead with a pair of free throws with 4.9 seconds left, but Thompson banked in a running three at the buzzer (VIDEO) to give WashU a 20-18 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Emory heated up from three-point range in the second quarter, and four of the Eagles' eight field goals in the period were from beyond the arc. The Bears had a 6-0 run to take a 33-28 lead on a three-pointer by freshman Claudia Smith with 3:36 remaining, but the Eagles ended the half with a 10-1 run, including a pair of threes and a three-point play, to take a 39-34 lead into the break.
WashU shot 43.1percent (22-51) from the field and 46.2 percent (6-13) from three-point range. Emory finished with 44.3 percent (27-61) field-goal shooting and 42.1 percent (8-19) from beyond the arc. WashU was also 25-of-38 at the free-throw line, compared with 6-of-8 for the Eagles. After being outrebounded 9-0 to start the game, WashU finished with a 35-32 advantage, and outscored Emory 19-7 in second-chance points.
Orr led all scorers with 21 points, including 10 in the first quarter, and also had three rebounds and two steals. Martinez finished with 17 points, eight rebounds, three assists and a team-high four steals. Thompson added 12 points, five rebounds and five assists, and junior Lily Sarros also scored in double figures with 10 points and eight rebounds.
Bear Notebook: WashU is 47-7 all-time against Emory, and has won each of the last seven meetings in the series … The Bears trailed at halftime for just the third time this season … Emory entered the game ranked first in the UAA averaging 12.9 steals per game, but had a season-low four takeaways against the Bears … It was Orr's 10th double-digit scoring game of her career and her third performance of 20-plus points this season.