Lady Bears advance to final 16
The Washington University women’s basketball team continued its recent postseason success with an 80-64 victory over No. 13 Thomas More College. With the win, the No. 6 Bears advance to the round of 16 of the NCAA tournament.
A jumper from senior Janice Evans put the Bears ahead of the Saints 8-6 with 15:01 remaining in the first half, and the Bears held the lead for the remainder of the contest.
Junior Kathryn Berger led Wash. U. with a career night off the bench, scoring 25 points on 9-for-13 shooting and grabbing 11 rebounds. Classmate Alex Hoover fell one assist short of a double-double and ended the game with 16 points and nine assists, while graduate student Jaimie McFarlin finished with nine points and 10 rebounds.
The Bears displayed their prowess on both sides of the ball, shooting 45 percent from the field and 47 percent from behind the three-point line while holding Thomas More to 37 percent shooting and just 15 percent from three-point range. No Saint scored more than 12 points.
To make the second-round game against the Saints, Wash. U. needed a strong second half to defeat Maryville College (Tenn.) in the opening round of the NCAA tournament. Maryville shot 40 percent from the field in the first half and took a 43-41 lead into halftime. But the Bears tightened up the defense in the second half, holding the Scots to 24 points on just 19 percent shooting.
The Red and Green then sealed the game on the offensive side, scoring 40 second-half points on 40 percent shooting. The team also converted 18 of 21 free throw attempts.
Senior Zoë Unruh led the Bears with a career-high 31 points, while Evans added 17 points. Both players also had nine rebounds.
Wash. U. (25-2) will face Mount Union College (26-4) in the third round of the NCAA tournament on Friday. The winner of that game will then face either No. 14 Carthage College (24-4) or No. 5 George Fox University (27-2) on March 13. George Fox beat Wash. U. in the NCAA final game last year to win the championship. The location of the next two rounds has yet to be announced.