Balanced Attack Leads No. 5 Women’s Hoops to Victory

Balanced Attack Leads No. 5 Women’s Hoops to Victory


St. Louis, Mo., Jan. 9, 2017 – The No. 5-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team had 14 players contribute points in a 77-58 nonconference win over Millikin University during a rescheduled game in the Varsity Gymnasium Monday afternoon.

WashU improved its overall record to 11-1 while dropping the Big Blue's record to 7-7 on the season. The Bears lineup featured one player that reached double-figures in scoring as sophomore Madeline Homoly led the game with 13 points. The Bears bench totaled 45 points as all 17 dressed players entered the action.

WashU held advantages in multiple categories including rebounds (42-31), assists (18-12) and blocks (5-2). The Bears also outshot Millikin from the floor, as WashU shot 47.5 percent (29-61) and the Big Blue finished the game 33.3 percent from the field (17-51).

Senior Zoe Vernon scored the opening seven points of the first quarter for WashU with a jumper, three pointer and layup. Each basket was answered by Millikin but the Bears steady attack started to break away when senior Ereka Hunt converted a layup after an offensive rebound by Homoly. Hunt scored added a three pointer from the wing on a dish by junior Shelby Mann with seconds remaining in the quarter. The Bears held a 17-11 lead after the first quarter of play.

During the second quarter, Homoly led the scorers with six points while senior Lily Sarros added four points from the free throw line. Millikin trimmed the Bears lead to five points with just under four minutes remaining on a jumper from Emily Schultz, 23-18, but the Bears responded by scoring the final nine points of the quarter to lead 32-18 at half, including a three ball from sophomore Rachael Sondag which put the Bears ahead by double-figures for the remainder of the game.

WashU continued to extend its lead in the third quarter, including a 21-point gap following a three-ball by junior Natalie Orr and two consecutive free throws by Homoly with three minutes to go. The second free throw gave the Bears a 51-30 advantage which was only outdone in the fourth quarter. 

Less than a minute into the fourth quarter sophomore Claudia Smith nailed a second chance three pointer, assisted by Sarros, which put the Bears ahead 61-38. The Big Blue rallied to trim the Bears lead to less than 20 points multiple times in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Niki Sharma nearly ended the scoring in the game with a drive and off the glass shot but the Big Blue added three free throws in the final five seconds of the quarter resulting in the 77-58 final score.

Homoly led the Bears with 13 points while Stephanie Botkin and Vernon each added nine points apiece. Sarros and senior Jenn Dynis also chipped in eight points each for WashU. Homoly tied for the team lead in assists with Smith, as both sophomores ended the game with four apiece. 

Meanwhile on the defensive side, Smith led the team with a career-high three blocks. Homoly led the Bears rebounding effort with eight, while Vernon added seven.

WashU will hit the road this weekend for University Athletic Association (UAA) action against Emory University on Friday at 6 p.m. (ET) and No. 22 University of Rochester on Sunday at 2 p.m. (ET). Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.