Holland, Mich., March 2, 2018 – The Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team defeated Wheaton (Ill.) College 75-57 during NCAA Division III First Round action Friday evening at the DeVos Fieldhouse and advance to the Second Round on Saturday in Holland, Mich. as junior Madeline Homoly finished with a game-high 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting (62.5%).
The Bears improved to 19-7 overall as the Thunder fell to 22-6 on the season. WashU is 8-0 all-time against Wheaton and improved to 72-26 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. The Bears commanded the paint with a 38-24 points in the paint advantage and held the Thunder to 27.6-percent shooting from the field.
Sophomore Kristina Schmelter (14), junior Rachael Sondag (13) and senior Natalie Orr (12) also scored in double figures. Junior Stephanie Botkin tied a career-high with three blocks while Homoly grabbed a team-leading eight rebounds.
Wheaton worked its way to a 6-2 lead in the first two minutes of action before seven straight points by Homoly and junior Stephanie Botkin gave WashU a 9-6 advantage. The Bears again posted seven unanswered points to close the first quarter action with four points by sophomore Kristina Schmelter and a last possession three by Becca Clark-Callender for a 27-13 lead.
WashU maintained a double digit advantage for much of the second quarter before Wheaton cut the score to 39-30 on a layup by Jordan Myroth. However, one-of-two free-throws by senior Shelby Mann put the Bears ahead by 10 at the half, 40-30. Homoly led all scorers with 12 points with Schmelter adding nine.
The Bears opened the third quarter with seven straight points including a three-pointer by junior Rachael Sondag. WashU closed out the third with an 8-0 run to increase its lead to 61-40. On the run, Homoly exceeded 20 points for the ninth time this season.
Baskets by Homoly and Botkin gave WashU its largest lead of the game, 23, in the fourth quarter. The Thunder cut the deficit to as close as 13 points with three minutes remaining. A pair of free-throws by Orr closed out the game's scoring as WashU defeated Wheaton 75-57 as the Bears advanced to the Second Round for the 17th-straight year.
Wheaton had three players reached double figures in scoring as Devin Kyler totaled a team-best 12 points and was the only Thunder player with more than three shots to shoot 50 percent or better. Jill Berg finished with a game-high nine rebounds for Wheaton.
The Bears advanced and will play host and No. 4-ranked Hope College on Saturday, March 3 at 7 p.m. (ET). Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.