Waltham, Mass., Feb. 19, 2017 – Senior Zoe Vernon scored 17 points on a career-high five three-pointers to lift the No. 7-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team to a 61-49 win at Brandeis University Sunday in Waltham, Mass.
WashU won its 10-straight game to improve to 22-2, 11-2 in the University Athletic Association (UAA), while Brandeis fell to 11-13, 3-10 in the UAA. WashU and the University of Chicago remain in a tie for first place in the UAA standings.
WashU closes out regular-season play at home against Chicago on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 1 p.m. The winner of Saturday's game will claim an outright UAA Championship and earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Bears will honor their four seniors prior to Saturday's contest – Jenn Dynis, Erika Hunt, Lilly Sarros and Vernon.
Vernon was 6-of-10 from the field and 5-of-7 from three-point range. She was joined in double figures by sophomore Madeline Homoly, who had 12 points, five rebounds, two blocks and two steals.
WashU shot 40 percent (18-45) from the field and hit 7-of-17 from three-point range. The Bears outrebounded Brandeis 35-34, including 24-17 in the second half. WashU had 11 steals, its third-highest total of the season, and forced 19 turnovers.
Brandeis came out on fire hitting its first five shots from the field and led 11-2 which forced a timeout from WashU head coach Nancy Fahey just three minutes into the contest. Out of the timeout, sophomore Rachael Sondagcanned a three-pointer and then Homoly netted a bucket.
The Bears clawed back into the contest with an 8-0 run, highlighted by four free-throws by sophomore Stephanie Botkin and a pair from the charity stripe by sophomore Becca Clark-Callender. WashU trailed 17-15 after one quarter as the Bears turned the ball over seven times.
Vernon got the lead back to one (22-21) with a pair of three-pointers from the top of the key, and then Dynis gave WashU the 26-25 lead with a bucket. Brandeis ended the first half on a 6-0 run to take a 31-26 halftime advantage.
Vernon led the Bears with six first-half points as the Bears were 8-of-10 from the free-throw line but turned the ball over 14 times. Brandeis outscored WashU 18-2 in the paint in the first half, and did not allow an offensive rebound.
Vernon continued to have the hot hand as she scored eight of the first 10 points for the Bears in the third quarter and gave WashU the 36-33 lead after a three-pointer from the wing. WashU's defense limited Brandeis to 3-of-12 shooting in the third quarter as the Bears built a 41-39 lead.
WashU led by one (46-45) with less than six minutes remaining when Homoly scored on a lay-up and then Vernon buried her fifth three of the night from the top of the key. After a timeout by Brandeis, Dynis buried a jump shot to push the lead to 53-45.
Maria Jackson led all scorers with 18 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and three steals. Brandeis shot 34.5 percent (20-58) from the field and hit just 3-of-16 from three-point range.
BEAR NOTEBOOK: WashU is 54-3 all-time against Brandeis, and the Bears have won each of the last 18 meetings between the two teams … The Bears are 21-0 when outrebounding its opponent … Homoly has scored in double figures in 10-straight games … The Judges have lost nine of their last 10 UAA games … The Bears have recorded 22 or more wins in five-straight seasons.