No. 22 WashU Set for UAA Home Opener with 9-2 Chicago

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

vs. Chicago (9-2, 0-0 UAA) – Saturday, Jan. 6 - 1 p.m. (CT)
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Download the complete WASHU game notes by clicking HERE (PDF).

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK No. 22 WashU opens University Athletic Association (UAA) play when it hosts University of Chicago (9-2) Saturday afternoon.WashU possesses a 23-7 record in conference opening games in the 30 years the UAA has been in existence.

HISTORY VS. CHICAGO WashU has a 50-15 edge in the all-time meetings between the Bears and Maroons, including a memorable last second shot victory to clinch WashU's 23rd UAA title in the last meeting. Senior Natalie Orr sank the winning shot with seconds remaining in the 77-75 victory as Ereka Hunt helped the Bears comeback from a nine-point deficit with multiple three-pointers.

WashU and Chicago have opened UAA play against one another for 17 straight seasons. The Bears hold an 11-5 advantage in that stretch but Chicago won the 2016-17 conference opener 75-68.

FROM DOWNTOWN WashU has the top 3-point field goal percentage in Division III, hitting 41.9-percent of its shots from beyond the arc. Junior forward Stephanie Botkin's 54.2-percent leads the University Athletic Association (UAA), while junior guard Rachael Sondag ranks sixth in the country with 3.5 three-pointers made per game in addition to 26th nationally with a 44.9-percent clip.

TOP-25 OFFENSIVE RANKINGS As a team the Bears offense ranks in Division III's top-25 in multiple offensive categories including first in 3-point field goal percentage (41.9%), fourth in assists per game (20.4), sixth in total assists (224), 10th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.30), 13th in field goal percentage (45.8%) and 25th in scoring offense (75.4).

• A LOOK AT THE NUMBERS A look at the numbers reveals that early season indicators towards Bears success are rebounds and shooting percentage. The Bears are unbeaten with a 6-0 record when they outrebound opponents and they also possess a 6-0 record when they shoot better than 45-percent from the field. In addition the Bears are 4-0 when junior forward Madeline Homoly scores 20 or more points.

• RECORDS TO WATCH FOR Senior guard Natalie Orr is two three-pointers shy of moving into a tie for eighth place all-time in the three-point field goals made in school history. Orr currently has 123 triples, two shy of Beth Ruether (Venturella).

Junior guard Rachael Sondag is also two three-pointers away from cracking the top-10 list, as she currently has 112, just two behind Jordan Thompson.  Sondag currently has the top three-point field goal percentage (41.9%) in school history, slightly ahead of Laura Crowley (41.8%) and Orr (41.3%). Sondag is on pace for 84 three-pointers this season which would rank second to Laura Crowley's 87 in 2002-03.

• TWO, FOUR, SIX Sophomore forward Kristina Schmelter (55.4%), junior forward Madeline Homoly (50.0%) and junior forward Stephanie Botkin (49.5%) have the second, fourth and sixth best shooting percentages in the UAA.