St. Louis, Mo., Jan. 22, 2017 – No. 12 Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball jumped out to an early lead against Brandeis University and secured its third University Athletic Association (UAA) win of the season with a 70-54 victory on Sunday afternoon in the Field House.
WashU improved its record to 14-2 overall and 3-2 in UAA play while Brandeis dropped to 10-6 and 2-3 in UAA. The Bears held the Judges to 38.9 percent shooting from the floor (21-54), including two-of-12 in the first quarter. Meanwhile, WashU exceeded 50 percent from the floor for the second straight game, 51.0 percent (25-49), including five three pointers made.
With the victory, Bears head coach Nancy Fahey reached 725 career wins and is only the fourth coach to do so in Division III history.
Sophomore Madeline Homoly gave the Bears their first lead of the game when she sank a pair of free throws and added a layup to put WashU ahead 8-4 with 5:22 to go in the quarter. WashU worked its way to the free throw line often as sophomore Rachael Sondag, juniors Natalie Orr, Hannah Koenig and Shelby Mann added free throws to give the Bears a 15-6 lead at the end of the first.
WashU held the Judges to 16.7 percent from the floor in the first quarter (2-12) and the Judges also committed seven turnovers. Homoly led the Bears with six points to begin the game.
Orr had back-to-back baskets in the second quarter which helped the Bears separate from Brandeis, including a three ball from the wing on an assist by sophomore Claudia Smith. Orr hit another three from the opposite wing in the waning seconds of the half on a dish from senior Lily Sarros which put the Bears ahead 37-21 with less than 30 seconds remaining. A cross court pass from sophomore Becca Clark-Callender found an open Sondag for a buzzer beating three which closed out the scoring and put WashU ahead 40-21 at the break.
Orr led the halftime scorers with 12 points, while Homoly added 11. Orr and Sondag both hit two triples in the opening half as the Bears shot a collective 4-9 from beyond the arc. In addition, the Bears scored 12 points from the free throw line and added 12 more off of turnovers in the opening half while limiting Brandeis to two.
Both teams' defenses clamped down in the third quarter as it took both WashU and Brandeis until the eight-minute mark to reach double-figures for the quarter. Sondag hit two free throws to help the Bears increase their lead to 52-31. Orr followed the free throws with a fast break jumper with less than 20 seconds left to end the third quarter scoring as WashU led 54-34.
The Judges scored the first three points of the final quarter but following a timeout Orr used a screen to find open court and sink a midrange jumper. The Judges continued chipping away at the Bears advantage and cut it down to 62-51 with less than three minutes left but Sarros, Homoly and Orr hit four consecutive shots for an 8-0 run before Brandeis hit a three to end the score at 70-54.
Homoly led the Bears with 19 points off the bench while Orr totaled 18. Sarros and Sondag each finished with nine while senior Jenn Dynis added eight. Sarros was a single point shy of a double-double as she corralled 10 rebounds to lead the Bears. Clark-Callender totaled a game-high five assists.
WashU travels to No. 13 Carnegie Mellon University on Friday, Jan. 27 for a 6 p.m. (ET) contest before closing up the month at Case Western Reserve University on Sunday at 2 p.m. (ET). Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.