Chicago, Ill., Feb. 24, 2018 – Junior guard Rachael Sondag tied a career-high with 23 points but it was not enough as the Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team suffered a 96-90 loss at No. 10-ranked University of Chicago Saturday in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Sondag was 8-of-14 from the field, including 6-of-10 from three-point range. The six threes made tied a season-high. Senior guard Natalie Orr added 14 points and eight rebounds while junior forwards Stephanie Botkin and Madeline Homoly added 10 points each.
WashU outrebounded Chicago 42-30, but the Maroons forced the Bears into 22 turnovers and had 15 steals.
Chicago won its 21st-straight game to finish the regular season with a 23-2 record and 14-0 in the University Athletic Association (UAA), while WashU fell to 18-7 and 9-5 in the UAA. The Maroons became the seventh team in UAA history to go undefeated in conference play.
WashU drained its first four shots from three-point range and led 15-11 in the opening five minutes of play. Orr's second three capped a 9-2 run for the Bears. WashU turned the ball over seven times in the opening quarter and trailed 21-15.
Chicago extended its lead to 32-23, but Sondag nailed a wing three to get it down to six. Sondag scored again on a runner and then junior guard Becca Clark-Callender's two free-throws made it five-point game (35-30).
Junior guard Niki Sharma hit her first three of the season and then scored on a lay-up as WashU cut the lead to 40-37, but Chicago ended the half on a 7-0 run to take a 47-37 lead.
WashU shot 48.1 percent (13-27) from the field in the half and hit 6-of-9 threes, but turned the ball over 13 times. Sondag led all scorers with 11 points.
Chicago took its largest lead of the game at 59-41 with 5:59 left in the third quarter that forced a full timeout by WashU. The Bears scored six-straight out of the timeout to get the lead down to 12 (59-47), and then junior forward Caroline Ballard drained a three to make it 61-50. WashU outscored Chicago 21-19 in the quarter, but trailed 68-60.
Sondag's three from the corner got the lead down to seven (74-67), and then back-to-back threes from Sondag and Botkin made it 79-73. Botkin hit another three to lead down to five (94-89), and then a free-throw by Sondag made it 94-90 with 8.4 seconds left.
Mia Farrell scored 31 points on 15-of-18 free-throws to lead all scorers, while Taylor Lake added 18 points. Olariche Obe had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
The 2018 NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Selection Show is set for Monday, Feb. 26, at 1:30 p.m. (CT). The Bears are seeking their 29th-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.
• WashU leads the all-time series with Chicago 50-17, but the Maroons swept the season series
• Sondag moved into a tie with Orr for third in school history in threes (152).