Bears finish their road trip undefeated, reclaim top of UAA
The Washington University men’s basketball team capped off a four-game road trip unscathed, highlighted by two victories this weekend against conference rivals University of Rochester and Emory University.
On Friday in New York, graduate student Sean Wallis led the squad in an 82-78 thriller over Rochester, tying his career high of 27 points and adding 10 assists.
“It was really important for us to continue this road trip with a win,” Wallis said. “I was able to get to the free-throw line and make some free throws. I wasn’t really thinking about the points or anything like that, just getting the team a win.”
The largest lead of the game was 10 points in favor of the Bears, but that lasted only 35 seconds. Bur the Bears’ smart plays and perseverance helped them escape the contest with a victory.
“We gave them a bunch of different looks that caused them problems,” head coach Mark Edwards said. “In the last few minutes of the game we didn’t have a true post on the floor. Even though our posts were playing pretty good, it just gave us a little more flexibility.”
Junior Spencer Gay chipped in with 15 points for the game, while sophomore Dylan Richter added 14.
After Friday’s win, the Bears headed to Atlanta to face Emory in a game that decided sole possession of the University Athletic Association conference lead. Drawing on experience in high-pressure situations, the Bears came away with a 65-56 win over the Eagles.
“We have an experienced team that knows what it’s like to play in this conference,” Edwards said. “They know that on Sundays you have to be just as sharp as you were Friday night or you’re going to get caught, especially when you’re playing somebody that’s already first place in the conference.”
“Knowing that the conference was on the line, I feel like it energized us a little bit,” Gay added. “One thing that we stress a lot is that the UAA championship is won on Sundays, so every Sunday we have to come out and play as hard as we can.”
With these two victories, the Bears improved their road record to 8-1 on the season, and have continued to assert their dominance away from home.
“I think it’s our ability to leave everything back in St. Louis— distractions, class,” Wallis said. “Now it will be nice to head home, play on our own court, and hopefully we will have the fans out to support us on Friday night.”
The Bears return to the Field House at 8 p.m. on Friday and noon on Sunday, and those two games will once again be against Rochester and Emory.
“It’s not going to be any walkover, and both teams are coming back ready because of what we did last weekend on their home courts,” Wallis said. “Obviously [last weekend] was a confidence builder, but at the same time, if we are not playing our game—playing well—we could come out on the other end [without the win].”