Strong Second Half Propels No. 22 Women’s Basketball Victory

Strong Second Half Propels No. 22 Women’s Basketball Victory

Decatur, Ill., Dec. 10, 2017 – The No. 22-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team pulled away in the second half with a 30 point third quarter to defeat Millikin University 81-64 on the road Sunday evening in the Griswold Center.

WashU improved to 6-2 while Millikin fell to 3-5 on the season. Junior Rachael Sondag hit 6-of-11 three-pointers as the Bears collectively shot 45-percent from beyond the arc compared to Millikin's 33.3-percent (3-of-9) from three-point territory. WashU also outrebounded the Big Blue 34-25 including a 12-5 advantage in offensive boards.

The Bears offense totaled 22 assists including a game-high five by senior Shelby Mann, while Sondag and junior Becca Clark-Callender tallied four apiece. Sondag led WashU with 18 points while junior Madeline Homoly (16), senior Natalie Orr (12) and Clark-Callender (11) also reached double figures.

The Big Blue held a 6-4 lead with 6:40 to go in the first quarter but back-to-back three pointers by Clark-Callender and Orr pushed WashU ahead by four. The successive treys gave the Bears the lead they would not relinquish. Orr also sank a buzzer-beating jumper at the end of the first quarter which stretched the Bears lead to five as WashU led 18-13.

The Bears and Millikin both finished the second quarter with 18 points apiece as WashU maintained a five-point advantage at the half, 36-31. Sondag hit multiple three-pointers for all six of her first half points to help WashU maintain the halftime edge.

The Bears carried a 5-0 run into the second half with consecutive layups by junior Stephanie Botkin to increase WashU's lead to nine, 40-31. The Big Blue answered back with multiple baskets but the Bears offense caught fire with multiple runs, including a 10-0 run with two triples from Sondag. WashU led 66-47 entering the fourth quarter.

Millikin cut into the Bears 19-point lead during the fourth quarter. The Big Blue went on a 10-4 run to open the final quarter which closed the gap to 13 points, however, WashU responded with a 9-0 run to regain a commanding 22-point lead. Millikin outscored WashU 17-15 in the fourth quarter but the Bears pulled out their second consecutive win beating the Big Blue 81-64.

Jordan Hildebrand led Millikin with 18 points off the bench, while the Bears leading scorer off the bench was sophomore Kristina Schmelter (8).

WashU remains on the road with a single game against Fontbonne Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. as part of a doubleheader with the men's team. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.