Milwaukee, Wis., Nov. 17, 2017 – The No. 10-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team opened the 2017-18 season with a 68-45 win over Luther College in the opening game of the Paul F. Knueppel Classic Friday in Milwaukee, Wis.
Head coach Randi Henderson picked up her first win with the Bears, and improved to 7-4 in season openers in her 11 seasons as a head coach.
WashU limited Luther to 29.6 percent (16-of-54) from the field, including 2-for-16 from three-point range.
Junior forward and preseason All-American Madeline Homoly led four starters in double figures with 20 points, while junior guard Rachael Sondag added 13. Senior guard Natalie Orr recorded the first double-double of her career with 10 points and 10 rebounds, and also had a career-high six steals. Junior forward Stephanie Botkin added 10 points.
Botkin scored five of the Bears' first nine points of the game on a three-pointer and a lay-up as WashU held a 9-5 advantage. The lead grew to double figures at 22-10 on a three-pointer by Sondag with four seconds left in the first quarter.
WashU went ice cold from the field in the second quarter, connecting on 1-of-14 shots and held onto a 27-23 lead at the half.
The Bears shot 30.3 percent (10-for-33) from the field in the opening half. Homoly and senior Natalie Orr had seven points apiece.
WashU blew open the game with a 15-0 run to take a 52-30 lead with 7:11 left in the fourth quarter. Homoly had six points and Sondag nailed a pair of threes during the decisive run. The Bears shot 45.7 percent in the second half, and hit 4-of-9 three-pointers.
Claire Marburger led Luther with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
BEAR NOTEBOOK: WashU and Luther have split four all-time meetings, and the teams met for the first time since 2007 … The Bears have won their last 10 season openers … Henderson has 156 wins in her career.