St. Louis, Mo., February 26, 2011 – The No. 9 ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team dropped its season finale to No. 8 ranked University of Chicago, 61-51, in the regular season finale on Saturday afternoon at the WU Field House in St. Louis, Mo.
Chicago completes its season with a 22-3 record, including a 14-0 mark in the University Athletic Association (UAA) play, while Washington U. finishes the season 20-5, 11-3 in the UAA. The Maroons are the fifth team – and first since 2001-02 – to go undefeated in UAA action.
Chicago earned the automatic bid to the NCAA Championship by winning the UAA championship, while Washington U. must earn an at-large bid. The 2011 NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Selection Show will be streamed live on www.ncaa.com on Monday, Feb. 28, at 2 p.m. (CT).
Prior to Saturday's tip off Washington University honored its six seniors who were playing their final regular season home game at the WU Field House: Alison Andrews, Kathryn Berger, Hannah Cusworth, Alex Hoover, Jenny Lloyd, Monika Monson. In four years on the Danforth Campus this year's senior class has led the Bears to a 94-20 (.826) record, two UAA championships, two trips to the national championship game and the 2010 NCAA Division III national championship.
Hoover led Washington U. with 15 points on 7-of-7 free-throw shooting, while sophomore Kristina Anda added 12 points and sophomore Annie Sayers scored 10. The Bears shot 28.1 percent (16-of-57) from the field in the loss, including 6.7 percent (1-of-15) from three-point range.
Sayers was the lone offensive bright spot in the opening five minutes of play for the Bears. She hit her first three shots from the field, including a 17-footer from the top of the key, which put Washington U. up 8-2 with 15:24 to play. After a timeout by Chicago, a pair of free-throws and a three-pointer by Meghan Herrick trimmed the advantage to 8-7.
Washington U. went cold from the field as the Bears missed their next 13 shots but continued to stay in the contest. Chicago took a 15-11 lead with 6:12 remaining following a pair of three-throws by Taylor Simpson. Washington U. snapped a skid of 9:33 without a field goal following Hoover's 10-foot jumper with 5:51 to play.
The Bears regained the lead for 16 seconds after a three-pointer from junior Claire Schaeperkoetter in the corner, but Chicago scored the final seven points of the half to a take a 24-18 lead to intermission. Washington U. held for the last shot of the half, but a turnover by Alex Hoover with 3.8 seconds to play resulted in a three-pointer from the wing by Joan Torres as time expired.
Washington U. shot just 23.3 percent (7-30) in the first half, and was just 3-of-23 in the final 15:24. Sayers led the Bears with eight points and four rebounds in the opening half, while Morgan Herrick and Simpson led the Maroons with six points each.
The Bears scored the first seven points of the second half to regain the lead at 25-24 following a pair of free-throws by Sayers, but the Maroons responded with the next five points to make it 29-25. Washington U. would get the lead down to two (31-29) with 12:31 to play, but then lost its leading scorer in Berger with 9:51 to play. Berger finished the day 1-of-3 from the field with a season-low two points and five fouls.
That would be as close as Washington U. would get, as Chicago extended the lead to double figures (42-31) with 7:40 to play following seven-straight points from Morgan Herrick and a three-pointer from Halfhill.
Morgan Herrick led four Maroons in double-figures with 17 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Halfhill (1), Meghan Herrick (11) and Simpson (10) also scored in double-figures for Chicago, which shot 36.8 percent form the field. Chicago finished the game 14-of-17 from the free-throw line (82.4 percent).
Bear Notebook: The Bears lead the all-time series against Chicago, 41-11 … The loss for the Bears snapped their 40-game home-court winning streak, dating back to the 2008-09 season.