Chicago, Ill., Jan. 5, 2018 – The Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team defeated No. 8 University of Chicago 85-66 on the road in the Ratner Athletics Center Saturday afternoon to open University Athletic Association (UAA) play in the 2018-19 season.
The Bears improved to 7-5 on the year (1-0 UAA) while Chicago fell to 9-3 (0-1 UAA) with its second consecutive loss. WashU holds a 51-17 all-time record against the Maroons snapping a two-game skid against Chicago. The Bears picked up their first win over a top-25 ranked team this season.
Senior forward Madeline Homoly led all scorers with 23 points, converting 9-of-12 shots from the field. Senior guard Becca Clark-Callender matched a season-high with 16 points in addition to recording eight assists as the Bears led the Maroons 21-11 in assists. WashU also held a 45-33 edge in rebounds.
Senior guard Rachael Sondag also reached double figures with 10 points. The Red & Green's bench outscored Chicago's 30-11, led by seniors Katie Claussner and Kristina Schmelter with eight points apiece.
WashU stormed out to a 28-15 lead as Homoly totaled nine points and Clark-Callender tallied seven. Homoly was a perfect 4-for-4 from the court in the opening 10 minutes of play, also picking up two assists.
Homoly gave the Bears the lead on the opening possession of the game on the dish by freshman guard Hayley Semple. The Maroons tied the score within the next minute before Semple, Clark-Callender and Homoly keyed a 6-0 Bears run.
Chicago pulled within four points multiple times in the first quarter but the Bears' frontcourt combo of Schmelter and senior Stephanie Botkin pushed WashU to an eight point edge. The Red & Green lead was pushed to double digits on a Clark-Callender triple.
The Maroons fought back to within four points with seven minutes to go in the second quarter. With 2:37 to go in the second quarter, Chicago still trailed by four points but freshman forward Samantha Weaver drove down the center of the lane before finding Schmelter for an and-one play in the paint. The three-point play gave the Bears a 37-30 edge. Senior guards Caroline Ballard and Claussner combined for five points down the stretch, as WashU ended the half with a 42-34 lead.
The Red & Green converted 51.6-percent of their shots from the field (16-31), while holding the Maroons to 36.1-percent (13-36). The Bears also held a 24-16 rebounding advantage and a 12-5 edge in assists at the half.
Weaver converted a layup in the third quarter with 4:13 to give the Bears a double digit once again, 50-40. WashU closed out the third quarter with a pair of shots from beyond the arc as Sondag sank one from several feet past the arc and Ballard hit another on an assist by Homoly with five seconds left. The Bears led 61-45 heading into the fourth.
WashU's lead stretched to an 18 point edge when Homoly converted a three-point play on the dish from Clark-Callender with 6:55 remaining. The Maroons narrowed the deficit down to 12 points with 2:21 to go, but Clark-Callender sank six straight free-throws to give the Bears an 18 point edge again.
The Bears lead increased to a game-high 21 points following two free-throws from Weaver and a layup by Homoly.
Olariche Obi led the Maroons with 17 points, while Mia Farrell (12) and Jamie Kockenmeister (10) also reached double digits in scoring. Chicago was held to 37.1-percent shooting from the field, shooting under 40-percent for just the fourth time this season.
WashU will return home for its first UAA weekend of the season, hosting Emory on Friday, Jan. 11 and Rochester on Sunday, Jan. 13. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.