Holland, Mich., March 3, 2018 – The Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team was defeated by No. 4-ranked and host Hope College Saturday evening in the NCAA Division III Second Round in the DeVos Fieldhouse.
The Bears finished the 2017-18 season with a 19-8 overall record while Hope improved to 28-1 on the year and will advance to the NCAA Sectional Semifinals next weekend. WashU committed 24 personal fouls which led to a large discrepancy in free-throw attempts. The Flying Dutch converted 28-of-32 attempts from the charity stripe while the Bears went 10-of-10 from the line.
Junior Madeline Homoly finished with a game-high 26 points on 12-of-21 shooting from the field. Juniors Rachael Sondag and Becca Clark-Callender were also able to reach double figures in scoring with 12 points apiece. Clark-Callender also paced the Bears attack with a team-leading five assists.
"I thought Hope played an excellent game today defensively and offensively," said head coach Randi Henderson. "They are a very good team and they have some very good players that gave us some frustration."
WashU utilized a 12-0 run late in the first quarter to flip an 11-point deficit to a 19-18 lead on a layup by sophomore Kristina Schmelter. The Bears and Flying Dutch traded free-throws in the final seconds of the first as WashU held a 21-20 advantage heading into the second quarter.
A three-ball by Hope's Madison Geers gave the Flying Dutch the lead for several minutes before a layup by Homoly with 4:21 to go in the second put WashU ahead 32-31. However, the Bears offense was unable to score in that final stretch as Hope went on a 10-0 run to claim a 41-32 halftime lead.
"It's tough to dig yourself out of a hole especially here, they've got a great fan support and amazing environment," added Henderson. "They provide a lot of pressure. We missed some open looks. What I was really happy with during that time is that our players were fighting for the lose balls. It's really tough to not get deflated during those droughts."
Hope added to its lead in the third quarter and led by as many as 17 points, but the Bears closed out the third with five unanswered points. Homoly found Sondag beyond the arc for one of her four triples and then made a layup. WashU trailed 58-48 heading into the fourth quarter.
A mere five points combined were scored in the initial four minutes of the fourth. Multiple baskets by Homoly kept the Bears close to a 10-point deficit but an 8-2 run by Hope had the Flying Dutch ahead 71-54 with 2:42 to go. Hope converted 14 free-throws in the final stretch to clinch the game and advance past the Bears in the NCAA Tournament.
Kenedy Schoonveld led Hope with 25 points, while Madison Geers (13), Jacquelyn Schwark (10) and Victoria Swift (10) reached double digits in points. Francesca Buchanan was the only player to exceed double figures in rebounds as she corralled 11 in total.
WashU finished the season with a 19-8 record during head coach Randi Henderson's first year of leading the Bears. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears postseason awards and accolades by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.