Lincoln, Neb., Novmber 23, 2012 – Junior forward Chris Klimek scored 19 of his career-high 31 points in the second half as the No. 21 ranked Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team posted a 94-63 win over Austin College in the opening game of the Snyder Classic Friday in Lincoln, Neb.
Klimek, who missed the entire second half in Tuesday's victory against Fontbonne, was 14-of-17 from the field in the victory and hit 3-of-4 from the foul line. He is averaging a team-high 17.8 points per game this season and has scored in double figures in 20 of 25 career games played.
Sophomore forward Matt Palucki added a season-high 14 points and eight rebounds, while senior center Robert Burnett was 5-for-5 from the field and had 13 points and nine rebounds. Senior guard Ben Hoenerchipped in with 10 points off the bench and was 4-of-4 from the field, including 2-of-2 from three-point range.
Hoener came off the bench midway through the first half and ignited a 9-2 run with five points as Washington U. held onto a 20-13 lead with 10:44 to play. The Bears extended the lead into double figures (31-19) by having success at the free-throw line, connecting on 5-of-6 from the charity stripe in a span of 2:24
Washington U.'s defense clamped down on the Austin offensive attack, holding the Kangaroos scoreless for the next 4:40. The Bears scored 14-straight points during that span to extend the lead to 45-21 before a timeout by Austin. Head coach Mark Edwards emptied the bench for the final two minutes and took a 47-27 lead to half.
Klimek had 12 points in the opening half, while Burnett and Palucki added eight points apiece. The Bears shot 48.5 percent (16-33) in the opening half from the field, and hit 13-of-17 (76.5 percent) from the foul line. Washington U.'s defense forced 13 turnovers in the first half and limited Austin to 27.6 percent (8-29) shooting.
Klimek took over the game midway through the second half, scoring 11-straight points to give Washington U. the 68-46 lead. A jumper by Hoener made it 70-46 as the Bears hit nine of their first 14 shots from the field. Washington U. hit 19-of-32 shots (59.4 percent) from the field in the second half.
Washington U. shot 53.8 percent (35-65) from the field and hit 19-of-27 (70.4 percent) from the foul line in the win. The Bears outrebounded Austin 47-23 and had 27 assists in the win.
Antoine Thompson led the Austin (1-2) with 16 points on 8-of-11 free-throw shooting. The Kangaroos shot 39.6 percent (21-53) from the field and had 21 turnovers.
Washington University (4-0) closes out play in the Snyder Classic Saturday at 5:30 p.m. against Simpson College.
Bear Notebook: Washington U. and Austin met for the first time in school history … The Bears are 4-0 for the first time since the 2009-10 season … The Bears had a 52-24 advantage in points in the paint … Junior Alan Aboona added a season-high eight assists and did not turn the ball over in 21 minutes played … Washington U. had a season-high 12 steals in the win … The Bears have outrebounded its four opponents by an average of 19.5.