Waltham, Mass., Feb. 14, 2014 – Four players scored in double-figures and the No. 6-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team made a season-high 29 free throws as the Bears earned a 61-51 win at Brandeis University Friday evening in University Athletic Association (UAA) action.
Washington U. improved to 19-2 overall and 9-1 in the UAA with the win, while Brandeis dropped to 12-9 overall and 6-4 in the conference. The Bears travel to New York City to No. 22 New York University at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday. The Violets lost to the University of Chicago 73-57 Friday to fall to 18-3 overall and 7-3 in the UAA. Washington U. now holds a two-game lead in the conference standings over NYU and Chicago with four games remaining.
WUSTL scored the first five points of the game on a three-pointer by junior guard Maddy Scheppers and a layup by senior forward Jordan Rettig, but Brandeis answered with a 15-2 run over the next 5:19 to take a 15-7 lead with 12:03 left in the first half. A 7-0 run by the Bears, including five points by sophomore guard Jordan Thompson, brought Washington U. to within 15-14 with 8:07 left in the half, but Brandeis pushed its lead to 21-15 with a pair of free throws with 4:15 to play in the opening half. Washington U. scored the final five points of the half and held Brandeis without a field goal in the final 5:30 to make the score 21-20 in favor of the Judges at halftime.
The teams played back-and-forth in the first four minutes of the second half, before a jumper by junior forward Melissa Gilkey tied the score at 28-28 with 16:01 remaining in the game. Gilkey's basket sparked a 13-2 run over a span of 6:48 and three free throws by junior guard Alyssa Johanson gave the Bears a 39-30 lead with 9:57 left. A three-pointer by the Judges brought them to within 42-37, but an 8-0 run by the Bears gave them their largest lead of the game (50-37) with 3:09 on the clock. Brandeis cut the deficit to 10 five times in the final three minutes, but Washington U. scored its final 11 points of the game at the free-throw line (11-of-14) to seal the victory.
Washington U. shot a season-low 29.8 percent (14-47) from the field in the game, while Brandeis shot 35.1 percent (20-57) from the field. The Bears finished 29-of-43 at the free-throw line in the game, including 25-of-31 in the second half. The Judges converted five of their eight free-throw attempts. Washington U. forced 20 turnovers by the Judges, which led to an 18-9 advantage in points off turnovers. Brandeis finished with a 38-37 rebounding advantage, and a 13-5 advantage in second-chance points.
Scheppers recorded the fourth double-double of her career with a game-high 16 points and 10 rebounds, including five on the offensive glass. Scheppers also had three assists and a team-high three steals. Gilkey, Johanson and Thompson each finished with 10 points, while Rettig added nine. Gilkey also had six rebounds, while Rettig and Johanson added five apiece.
Bear Notebook: Washington U. leads the all-time series against Brandeis 49-3, and has won the last 13 meetings between the two teams … The win for Washington U. snapped a six-game win streak for Brandeis.