St. Louis, Mo., March 3, 2017 – The No. 6-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team advanced to the second round of the 2017 NCAA Division III Tournament with a 73-54 victory over St. Norbert College Friday at the WU Field House in St. Louis.
WashU improved to 24-2 with the win, while St. Norbert concluded its season with a 20-6 overall record. The Bears take No. 24 Wheaton College (Ill.) in the NCAA Second Round Saturday at 7 p.m. Wheaton outlasted Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology 57-54 in the first game.
"I thought they came right at us tonight. At this time of year, everybody is going to be good, everybody is going to be making runs and we have to be ready for that," said WashU head coach Nancy Fahey. "I'm glad that we kept the tempo up. The big thing we talked about at halftime was boards and that's what turned the tail for us in the second half."
WashU jumped out to a 9-3 lead after a three-pointer by sophomore Claudia Smith, but the Green Knights ended the first quarter on a 13-6 run to take the 16-15 lead. St. Norbert shot 50 percent from the field in the opening quarter.
WashU got the lead up to eight (28-20) with 5:46 before half after a bucket and a three-pointer from senior Zoe Vernon to force a timeout by St. Norbert.
The Bears took a 33-27 lead to the locker room after shooting 50 percent from the field (12-24) in the opening half, including 3-of-6 from three-point range. Senior Jenn Dynis and Vernon led WashU with nine points each, while Smith added seven.
"At halftime we talked a lot about making sure that we really focus on getting good shots on offense and swinging the ball around so that we know when a rebound is coming up. I think that was a big part of my scoring in the second half," Dynis said.
The Bears opened the third quarter on a 13-5 run to get the lead into double figures (46-32). Vernon had a three-pointer and a pair of free-throws during the run.
Sophomore Rachael Sondag canned a three-pointer and then Vernon added a jumped as the lead grew to 52-34 with 3:12 to play in the third.
Dynis led the Bears with 17 points, while Vernon added 16 for the second-straight contest. Sophomore Madeline Homoly scored in double figures for the 12th-straight game with 14 points. Homoly also added eight rebounds.
WashU shot 50 percent (27-54) from the field and hit 14-of-16 from the foul line. The Bears outrebounded St. Norbert 35-27 and recorded 10 steals.
Jill Kleiman led St. Norbert with 18 points on 3-of-6 three-point shooting. The Green Knights shot 38.3 percent (18-40) from the field, and hit 5-of-18 from beyond the arc.
BEAR NOTEBOOK: WashU has won three all-time meetings with St. Norbert … The Bears have won 12-straight games … WashU has a 69-25 (.734) record in 29 NCAA appearances … The Bears are 13-0 at home this season and remain unbeaten (17-0) on the Edwards-Fahey Court … St. Norbert is 9-18 in 14 all-time NCAA Tournament appearances … WashU is 22-0 when its outrebounds its opponents … The Bears have won 13-straight games on Fridays dating back to last season … WashU's bench outscored St. Norbert 27-8.