St. Louis, Mo., Feb. 10, 2017 – The No. 9-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team utilized 44 combined points off the bench by sophomore's Madeline Homoly and Rachael Sondag to defeat Emory University 82-78 in University Athletic Association (UAA) action on Friday evening in a packed WU Field House for Eliot Night.
The Bears improved to 19-2 on the season, including 8-2 within the UAA while the Eagles fell to 13-8 and 4-6 in the UAA.
WashU shot 55 percent from the field (33-60) but turned the ball over 20 times for the second time against Emory this season. The Bears posted five blocks within the first half to tie the season-high while securing 35 rebounds, five more than the Eagles.
The Bears struck first when sophomore Claudia Smith drove down the lane floating a shot in for a 2-0 WashU lead. Smith stole the ball from Emory on the next play which led to a bucket by senior Zoe Vernon who was fouled on the play. Vernon sank the free throw to put the Bears ahead 5-0 in the opening two minutes of play. WashU increased its lead to eight in the final minute of first quarter action on senior Lily Sarros' put back for a 19-11 advantage but the Eagles scored the final basket to cut the Bears lead to six.
Emory used a 7-2 run to start the second quarter and pull within a single point, 21-20 with 6:43 left on the clock. The Bears and Eagles traded baskets for the next minute before a three ball by Sondag began an 8-0 run which included a jumper from sophomore Stephanie Botkin and another three by Sondag. WashU led 33-24 following Sondag's triple assisted by junior Natalie Orr. Emory's Shellie Kaniut cut the Bears lead to four heading into the second half 35-31.
WashU had four players with six points apiece at the half. Orr, Sondag, Botkin and sophomore Madeline Homoly led the Bears with six points each. Sarros totaled seven rebounds at the midway break.
Despite the opening basket of the third quarter by senior Jenn Dynis, Emory pulled within one point just three minutes into the second half with a 12-7 run. Homoly helped keep the Bears ahead with multiple baskets after Emory pulled within one. The Eagles pulled within one for the final time with 2:31 remaining in the third quarter, 50-49.
The Bears responded with eight straight points which included triples by Orr and Sondag. WashU led 58-51 heading into the final quarter.
WashU scored the first basket of the fourth quarter on a jumper by Homoly but Emory refused to give in as it rallied to a 60-58 deficit. Homoly once again answered the call, with back-to-back baskets for the Bears when Emory pulled within two.
Homoly and Sondag combined to score the Bears final 14 points to help WashU close out the 82-78 victory. Sondag finished the game with season-highs in points (20) and three pointers made (6).
The Bears were led by Homoly's 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the floor. Sondag finished 6-of-11 from beyond the arc. The duo combined to lead the WashU bench that outscored Emory's bench 54-14. Orr totaled a career-high six assists.
WashU will host University of Rochester on Sunday at 1 p.m. which will be followed by the Celebration of Champions to commemorate the 2016 fall season in which all six WashU programs advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history, including the women's soccer National Champions.
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