Chicago, Ill., Feb. 27, 2016 – The No. 9-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team could not overcome a fast start by the University of Chicago as the Bears suffered an 82-70 loss in the regular-season finale Saturday in the Windy City.
WashU finished the regular season with a 20-5 overall record and an 11-3 mark in the University Athletic Association (UAA). Chicago concluded its season with a 16-9 overall record, 8-6 in the conference. As the 2016 UAA Champion, WashU earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Selection Show is scheduled to air at 1:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 29, on NCAA.com.
Senior Amanda Martinez led WashU with 13 points and five steals, while freshman Claudia Smith added a career-high 12 points on 8-of-10 free-throws. Freshman Rachael Sondag scored a career-best 11 points on 3-of-5 three-point shooting, while senior Jordan Thompson also had 11 points.
WashU shot 38.5 percent (20-of-52) from the field in the loss, and hit 24-of-34 from the free-throw line. The Bears also outrebounded Chicago 30-25.
Chicago started 4-of-5 from the field and led 9-2 in the opening three minutes of play, forcing a 30-second timeout by WashU. The Maroons took a 25-17 lead after a quarter of play as they shot 68.8 percent (11-of-16) from the field.
Sondag came off the bench and hit a 15-footer and then a long three from the corner to cut the lead to 32-23. Chicago responded with back-to-back threes after a layup by freshman Stephanie Botkin to make it 40-25.
Chicago took a 44-29 lead to the locker room after shooting 63.3 percent from the field in the opening half. The Maroons hit 6-of-12 from three-point range. Martinez had nine points to lead WashU, who shot 47.6 percent (10-of-21) from the field but committed nine turnovers.
There were a combined 10 fouls called in the opening three minutes and the Bears took advantage. WashU hit 7-of-8 from the foul line, and a three from junior Zoe Vernon trimmed the lead to 47-41. Smith's put-back made it a four-point game at 47-43 with 4:44 left in the third.
WashU did not allow a field goal for the opening 7:57 in the third, and held Chicago to just two field goals (2-of-6) in the quarter. Smith had nine points in the third as the two teams combined to shoot 27 free throws.
The Bears trailed by six (56-50) after three quarters, but Chicago scored the first five points of the fourth to take a double-figure lead at 61-50.
Chicago shot a season-high 63.8 percent (30-of-47) from the field in the win, and hit 10-of-18 three-pointers. Elizabeth Nye had 19 points on 5-of-5 three-point shooting, while Stephanie Anderson had 14 off the bench.
BEAR NOTEBOOK: WashU leads the all-time series against Chicago 49-14 … Martinez's five steals increased her season total to 77, fourth on WashU's all-time single-season list … The Maroons finished the season 10-3 at home.