Written by Ellie Lieberman
WashU Sports Information Intern
St. Louis, Mo., Nov. 28, 2018 – The Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team overcame a first quarter deficit to defeat Millikin University 70-61 in the WU Field House Wednesday evening.
The Bears moved to 3-2 while Millikin fell to 1-5 on the season. WashU was paced by all-around strong shooting, hitting 48.2-percent of its field goals and 84.6-percent from the free throws line. On the defensive end the Bears held Millkin to 33.9-percent from the field, including 25.9-percent in the first half.
Senior forward Madeline Homoly poured in a season-high 27 points to lead the Bears after shooting over 76.9-percent (10-13) from the field. Other strong contributions for the Bears came from senior forward Stephanie Botkin and junior center Kristina Schmelter as both Bears reached double figures in scoring of the bench with 12 and 10 respectively.
Senior guard Katie Claussner totaled a game-high six assists while also contributing two steals. Homoly led the Bears with eight rebounds and three steals while senior guard Becca Clark-Callender patrolled the paint with seven rebounds and a steal. WashU forced 20 turnovers in the game.
The Bears trailed the Big Blue after one quarter of play, but utilized a 12-2 run at the start of the second quarter to take the lead. WashU continued to increase the gap and went into the break leading the Big Blue 35-22. Homoly led all scorers with 11 points and three steals after just two quarters. WashU picked up the pace in the second quarter thanks to a pair three-pointers from Botkin, including a dagger three on a fast break dish from Claussner.
The third quarter opened with a three by senior guard Caroline Ballard and a fast-break bucket from Homoly assisted by Claussner. The Bears lead increased to their largest of the game on another layup by Homoly, this time assisted by Ballard.
Strong WashU defense thwarted strong guard play from Millikin's Yanni Saddler who ended the game with 23 points to lead Millikin.
By the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Big Blue had mounted another small comeback and were down just 11 thanks to strong shooting behind the arc by Aubrey Margo and a couple of WashU turnovers.
Ballard ignited The Fieldhouse with a key charge against Saddler with just 4:00 left and the Bears never looked back, closing out the contest with a 70-61 victory.
WashU's next challenge will be at Greenville (3-1) on Monday, Dec. 3 as the Bears look to clinch their first winning streak on the road. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.