After weeks of torching opponents on the offensive end, the Washington University men’s basketball team was held punchless against the University of Rochester.
Five weeks into conference play last season, the Bears were 2-7m with five losses coming by three points or less. Now, Wash. U. is 9-0 in the UAA, with a chance to crack the top-five national rankings for the first time since January 2015.
In a Sunday afternoon battle between the University Athletic Association ceiling and basement, the Washington University men’s basketball team (7-0) rode an opportunistic defense and a career night from junior forward Andrew Sanders to an unexpectedly close victory over Case Western Reserve University (0-7) in Cleveland.
In what could have been a trap weekend series, the surging Washington University men’s basketball team exorcised its demons, continuing its remarkably consistent level of play with a pair of smooth 89-72 and 88-61 victories over New York University and Brandeis University, respectively.
Held without a field goal for the final seven and a half minutes of play, the Washington University men’s basketball team suffered their first loss of the season in the 33rd Annual Lopata Classic Championship game to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Saturday night at the Wash. U. Field House.
While it’s still playoff season for most Washington University fall sports teams, the men’s and women’s basketball teams are just getting started. In this week’s season openers, the Washington University men’s basketball team held on for a slim 60-59 victory at Webster University, while the women’s team coasted to an 83-60 win against Westminster College at the Field House.
Up against Division I University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign—a program with 17 Big Ten championships—the Washington University men’s basketball team led for most of the first half, fell behind by as much as 29 and finally went on a 18-1 run to close the gap. It was enough to make the sparse exhibition game crowd shift in their seats but not enough to beat a team that occasionally sends players to the NBA.
Down by six and unable to stop the high-powered Case Western Reserve University offense, the Washington University men’s basketball team appeared willing to concede another defeat in what has been a difficult past three weeks for this historic program.
Through nearly 34 minutes of play, sophomore center David Schmelter had hit all eight of his free throws to help the Bears keep pace with a streaking Emory University. Yet it was his ninth and 10th of the afternoon, both misses, that helped seal the Washington University men’s basketball team’s 74-73 loss to the host Eagles.
The home crowd erupted when sophomore guard Kevin Kucera connected on a 30 foot buzzer beater over a Yellowjacket defender. Not that it mattered.