St. Louis, Mo., Feb. 3, 2017 – The No. 9 Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team swept its University Athletic Association (UAA) season series against No. 20 Carnegie Mellon University with a 79-69 victory on Friday night in the WashU Field House, one week after beating the Tartans on the road.
WashU improved to 17-2 overall and 6-2 within UAA play while the Tartans moved to 15-4 and 4-4 in the UAA. Junior Natalie Orr tied a season-high with 19 points while shooting 66.7 percent from beyond the arc (4-6) to lead the Bears in scoring.
The Bears defense held Carnegie Mellon to 37.0 percent from the floor in the first half as WashU built a 55-27 halftime advantage. The Tartans outscored the Bears in the second half but were unable to overcome WashU's first half lead.
The Bears outrebounded the Tartans 39-29 while scoring 19 second chance points. WashU also totaled 42 points in the paint while holding Carnegie Mellon to 24. Bench points also favored the Bears, as WashU doubled the Tartans' 16 point.
The opening quarter was filled with three-pointers as WashU hit 4-of-8. Orr sank three of the Bears triples including two that gave WashU the lead. Her final three in the first pushed WashU ahead 16-12 for its largest lead of the quarter. Sophomore Madeline Homoly had an offensive rebound and finished a put back with 37 seconds left to give WashU the 22-19 advantage heading into the second quarter.
Orr kept things rolling with a three pointer as WashU went on an 8-0 run to open the second quarter. Carnegie Mellon's Lisa Murphy stopped the run momentarily but the Bears scored the next nine points highlighted by a fast break layup from Orr which was set up by sophomore Becca Clark-Callender. Orr was fouled on the play and sank the free throw helping push the Bears lead to 39-21. Senior Jenn Dynis closed out the half with a jumper for a Bears lead of 45-27.
Orr was the half's leading scorer, shooting 5-of-9 for 15 points, including four three pointers. Homoly added 10 points for the Bears while the Tartans were led by Murphy's 12. Clark-Callender led the Bears with three assists at the midway point.
The Tartans began cutting away at the Bears lead in the second half with an 18-10 run in the third quarter but Homoly and sophomore Stephanie Botkin scored the final four points. WashU led 59-45 heading into the fourth quarter.
Botkin and Clark-Callender both hit jumpers to start the fourth quarter only to be neutralized by back-to-back Tartans' baskets. Botkin sank another jumper from just inside the arc before senior Zoe Vernon hit a three pointer to put the Bears ahead 68-49 with 6:46 remaining. The Tartans pulled within eight points following a 16-5 run but Homoly and Orr helped the Bears maintain the double-digit lead with three layups down the stretch. The Tartan's Murphy ended the scoring at 79-69.
Orr led the Bears with 19 points while Homoly (17) and Botkin (10) reached double-figures off the bench. Vernon was the Bears team leader in rebounds, corralling nine while Clark-Callender finished the game with a career-high two blocks. Clark-Callender also finished with five assists.
WashU improved to 56-3 against Carnegie Mellon in the two program's histories, including a 49-game winning streak. Orr reached double-digits for the fourth straight game and sixth time in eight UAA contests this season.
The Bears will host Case Western Reserve University on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the WashU Field House, one week after defeating the Spartans 92-79. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.