No. 9 Women’s Basketball Captures UAA Title with Win at No. 22 NYU

No. 9 Women’s Basketball Captures UAA Title with Win at No. 22 NYU

New York, N.Y., Feb. 21, 2016 – Senior Jordan Thompson poured in a season-high 23 points to lead the No. 9-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team to a 66-53 win at No. 22 New York University Sunday at the Coles Sports Center.

WashU's win, combined with Rochester's loss at Carnegie Mellon, secured the Bears' third straight and 22nd overall University Athletic Association (UAA) championship. The Bears also earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament. The NCAA Selection Show is scheduled to air at 1:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 29, on NCAA.com.

WashU improved its overall record to 20-4, 11-2 in the UAA, while NYU dropped its sixth-straight game and fell to 17-7, 6-7 in the UAA. The win for the Bears gave head coach Nancy Fahey her 26th 20-win season in 30 years at WashU, including the eighth 20-win season in a row.

Thompson scored a season-high 23 points on 4-of-8 three-point shooting, while junior Zoe Vernon added a career-best 18 points on 3-of-5 three-point shooting.

WashU shot 42.6 percent (20-of-47) from the field in the win, and hit 19-of-25 free-throws. The Bears had a 19-7 advantage in points off turnovers.

Thompson and Vernon combined to score 15 of WashU's 17 points in the first quarter as the Bears jumped out in front 17-10. Vernon connected on her first three shots from the field, including two three-pointers, to finish with 10 points in the quarter. Thompson added five points. 

Vernon's second three-pointer ignited a 9-0 run as the Bears took a double-digit lead at 21-10 with less than nine minutes before halftime. The Bears held onto a 23-15 lead before a 6-0 run extended it to 29-15.

WashU took a 34-20 lead to the locker room after limiting NYU to 29.6 percent shooting (8-for-27) in the first half. Thompson and Vernon each had 12 points at the break.

Thompson canned her third three of the game to give WashU a 37-22 lead, but the Violets answered with a 7-0 run to trim the lead to 37-29 and force a timeout.

Freshman Steph Botkin hit a long two out of the timeout and then Thompson drilled another three-pointer to make it 42-31 with 4:35 left in the third. Freshman Rachael Sondag provided a lift off the bench for the second game in a row by scoring five-straight points to extend the lead to 49-31. New York got the lead down to seven (51-44), but two buckets by Thompson and a Vernon three put the game out of reach at 64-46.

Megan Dawe led NYU with 17 points, while Amy Harioka (13) and Kaitlyn Read (11) also scored in double figures. The Violets shot 37.3 percent (19-of-51) from the field.

WashU closes out regular-season play at the University of Chicago on Saturday, Feb. 27. Game time is set for 1 p.m. in the Windy City.

BEAR NOTEBOOK: WashU is 41-18 all-time against NYU, and the teams split the season series for the third time in the last four years … Sunday's contest was the final basketball game played at the Coles Sports Center … NYU was 9-3 at home this season … The Bears forced 19 turnovers in the win, including 11 in the second half … Senior Amanda Martinez moved into a tie for sixth on WashU's all-time single-season steals list with 72.