No. 23 WashU Overcomes First Half Deficit for 73-65 Win

Photo by Danny Reise/WUSTL Photos
Photo by Danny Reise/WUSTL Photos

St. Louis, Mo., Dec. 30, 2017 – The No. 23-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team overcame a nine-point deficit to defeat University of Wisconsin-Platteville 73-65 in nonconference Division III action Saturday afternoon in the WU Field House.

The Bears improved to 9-2 on the season while handing the Pioneers their second straight loss in St. Louis, dropping Platteville to 4-7 on the year. Despite being outrebounded 46-35 in the game WashU converted 12 offensive rebounds into 20 second chance points while the Pioneers managed seven points with the same amount of offensive boards.

Junior guard Rachael Sondag led all scorers with 20 points as she hit four three-pointers. It is the third time in her career she has reached the 20-point plateau and the first of this season. Junior forward Madeline Homoly added 19 points in 27 minutes of action while senior guard Natalie Orr also reached double figures with 11 points.

WashU finished with a season-high 18 steals which was led by Homoly's five thefts. Also adding multiple steals were junior guard Becca Clark-Callender (4), junior guard Shelby Mann (3), Sondag (2) and junior forward Caroline Ballard (2). Platteville finished the game with a better shooting percentage (42.6-35.3) but committed 27 turnovers in route to its third straight loss.

Back-to-back three-pointers by Platteville's Jalen Knowlton and Maiah Domask gave the Pioneers a 23-17 advantage at the end of the first quarter after WashU led for the majority of the opening eight minutes of play.

The Bears held Platteville in check for the final four minutes of play in the second quarter as it mounted an eight-point comeback to even the score at 36-all at the break. Homoly made the initial and final basket on the 8-0 run sandwiching a three-pointer by Clark-Callender and a Homoly free-throw.

Platteville scored the first basket of the second half to regain what proved to be its final lead of the afternoon. The Bears scored six straight points to take a 42-38 lead. The Pioneers kept the game within four points, 52-48, by the end of the third quarter. Homoly notched seven of her points in the third quarter alone.

The Bears clung to a slim advantage in the fourth quarter, 62-61, after an 11-5 Platteville run. Sondag and Ballard hit back-to-back shots to give the Bears a five-point gap, however, Platteville closed the gap to within 66-64. Following a WashU timeout as the Bears clung to a two-point advantage with 40 seconds remaining, Clark-Callender drove down the lane before finding Orr on the wing for a triple to put the Bears ahead 69-64.

Clark-Callender and Ballard sealed the victory by sinking 4-of-4 free throws down the stretch for the final points of the game. The Bears closed out the 2017 portion of their season with a 73-65 victory over Platteville.

WashU will remain at home next weekend when it opens University Athletic Association (UAA) play against Chicago at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 6. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.