Defensive Effort Keys WashU’s 71-52 Win over No. 11 Rochester

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

St. Louis, Mo., Feb. 2, 2018 – The Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team held No. 11-ranked University of Rochester to a season-low 4.5-percent from beyond the arc (1-of-22) Friday evening to secure a 71-52 victory during University Athletic Association (UAA) action in the WU Field House.

WashU improved to 14-5 overall and 5-3 in UAA play while the Yellowjackets fell to 16-3 overall and 6-2 in the UAA. The Bears held Rochester to 30.2-percent from the field (19-of-63), while hitting 27-of-63 field goals (42.9%). The Red & Green also improved to 11-0 on the year when outrebounding their opponents as WashU held a 47-37 advantage.

Senior Natalie Orr and junior Stephanie Botkin led the Bears with 13 points apiece. Junior Madeline Homoly also contributed 11 points while senior Shelby Mann paced the offense with a second-consecutive six assist effort.

The Bears scored the opening nine points of the first quarter causing a Rochester timeout at 7:18. Orr had four of the Bears points on the 9-0 run and two assists. WashU opened the quarter 7-of-11 from the field and led 19-8 with 3:06 to go on the clock. Junior Rachael Sondag led the Bears with six points as WashU concluded the quarter with a 23-14 lead.

Junior Niki Sharma increased the WashU lead to its largest of the half when she drove to the lane for a layup that put the Bears up 35-19, but Rochester scored the final basket of the first half to trim the lead to 35-21. Homoly finished with a team-high nine points and six rebounds after 20 minutes of play.

WashU's lead swelled to 22 points with 4:26 to go in the third quarter on a fastbreak jumper by Botkin assisted by Mann. Rochester responded with a 7-0 run but the Bears sank the final shot of the quarter on a step back triple by Orr to lead 53-32.

A three-pointer by junior Becca Clark-Callender capped a 7-2 run to start the fourth quarter that give WashU a 60-34 advantage. Less than a minute later, Clark-Callender drove down the lane drawing an extra Yellowjacket defender before finding sophomore Kristina Schmelter for an uncontested lay in.

Rochester chipped away at the Bears commanding lead but ultimately dropped its largest deficit loss of the season, 71-52. Senior Hannah Koenig converted WashU's final shot on the dish by freshman Grace Fortmann.

Alexandria Leslie finished with a team-high 12 points for the Yellowjackets. She was the lone Yellowjacket to shoot 50-percent or better with more than two shots in the game.

The Bears improved to 3-1 on the season against ranked opponents and Sondag moved into sole possession of sixth place all-time in three-pointers made in WashU history. Sondag concluded the game with 130 career triples while breaking a tie with Zoë Unruh (2006-10).

The Bears remain home in conference play against Emory University Sunday with tip-off set for 1 p.m. (CT). Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.