No. 22 WashU Stumbles in Second Half Loss to Chicago

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

St. Louis, Mo., Jan. 6, 2018 – The No. 22-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team opened University Athletic Association (UAA) play Saturday afternoon falling to University of Chicago 82-76 in the WU Field House.

WashU fell to 9-3 on the season and 0-1 in UAA play while Chicago improved to 10-2 and 1-0 in the UAA. The Bears held Chicago to 34.2-percent shooting from the field, but the Maroons finished with 22 offensive rebounds which contributed to a 26-4 advantage in second chance points.

Junior Madeline Homoly led all scorers with 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the field (71.4%), as the Bears collectively shot 51.7-percent (31-60). Also reaching double figures for WashU were senior Natalie Orr (13), junior Katie Claussner (career-high 11) and junior Rachael Sondag (10).

The Bears hold a 50-16 record all-time against Chicago but the Maroons have clinched back-to-back UAA opening contests. Taylor Lake led the Maroons with 23 points, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc.

The Bears held Chicago without a successful shot in its first 12 field goal attempts before the Maroons sank their first shot with 4:55 to go in the first quarter. WashU built an 11-2 lead during that time including a three-pointer by Orr and back-to-back baskets by junior Caroline Ballard.

WashU led 17-14 while holding Chicago to 14.3-percent from the field in the first quarter. The Maroons worked their way to the free-throw line 10 times, converting seven attempts. The Bears answered a 12-2 run by Chicago with a 6-0 run of their own to close the first quarter. Homoly snagged a rebound and worked her way down the court before hitting a buzzer-beating jumper.

The Bears lead increased to 37-32 by the end of the first half while Orr led all scorers with 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting. Claussner scored seven points in the second quarter off the bench converting 5-of-6 attempts from the free-throw line.

Chicago quickly narrowed the Bears lead in the third quarter with a 6-1 run to tie the game 38-all. A three-pointer by Sondag split a pair of baskets by junior Becca Clark-Callender and Claussner to give WashU a seven-point advantage.

The Red & Green led 49-42 with 5:55 to go in the third but the Maroons slowly worked their way to the lead in the final minute before back-to-back buckets by Homoly gave WashU a 62-60 advantage heading into the fourth quarter. Chicago hit 6-of-9 three-pointers in the third quarter to help trim the Bears lead.

Multiple jumpers from Homoly kept WashU up by six point in the fourth quarter, including a fast break layup with 5:58 remaining on the assist by senior Hannah Koenig. However, the Bears went five minutes without making a basket as the Maroons went on a 12-0 run to lead 80-74 before a jumper by Homoly closed the gap to four points with 17 seconds left. Chicago's Miranda Burt sank two free-throws to seal the victory, 82-76.

The Bears will remain at home for multiple UAA contests next weekend beginning with Brandeis on Friday, Jan. 12 at 6 p.m. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.