Women’s basketball loses nail-biter at Rochester, bounces back at Emory
The Washington University women’s basketball team had an up-and-down weekend featuring a 69-65 loss to No. 7 University of Rochester and a 78-64 win over Emory University.
On the road, the Bears got off to a fast start against Rochester Friday, leading by as many as 12 points during the first half. However, a 16-4 run from Rochester syphoned Wash. U.’s lead to just two heading into halftime. The Bears helped cause their own downfall during this run, turning the ball over 11 times in the second quarter.
The game went down to the wire, as the Bears were down by a score with 29 seconds to go in the game. Junior Rachael Sondag had the last good chance for the Bears, when she got open for three with just seven seconds left on the clock and the Bears down 67-65. Sondag’s shot, however, hit the rim and went out; and Rochester kept composed at the free-throw line to pull out the 69-65 victory.
Sondag and fellow junior Stephanie Botkin led the way for Wash. U. in terms of scoring, finishing the game with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Both teams were sloppy, as both Wash. U. and Rochester recorded 20 turnovers each. The Bears’ shooting let them down in the second half; Wash. U. shot just 30.5 percent in the second half, including a dismal 26.3 percent in the third quarter. Even as a poor overall shooting night sank the Red and Green, a hot performance from downtown kept them afloat: The Bears were 10-of-18 from the arc, one of their best three-point showings of the year.
The Bears then traveled to Atlanta to take on Emory. This time, Wash. U. would not let the lead slip away. The Bears dominated the boards, scoring 18 second-chance pointse and recording 40 total rebounds. The Bears also cut down on their turnovers from their previous game, committing 9 fewer against Emory.
After trailing for almost the entire first quarter, Wash. U. pulled ahead on a put-back lay-up late in the first, and did not look back from there. The Bears led the rest of the way, and closed out a 78-64 win.
Bench play was a factor for the Bears, and the Wash. U. bench outscored Emory’s bench 18-10. Senior Natalie Orr recorded a double-double, scoring 17 points and pulling down 12 boards. After both teams struggled to gain supremacy for most of the game, the Bears broke out to a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter, following their 9-2 run from the end of the third quarter. However, Emory continued to fight, as Ashley Oldshue proved to be a menace in the paint.
Junior forward Madeline Homoly rebounded from a rough 3-of-16 shooting performance against Rochester to record 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting Sunday. Three other starters followed her lead, with Sondag, Orr and sophomore Kristina Schmelter each improving from Friday to Sunday with double-digit point totals.
While Emory did not appear to be as dangerous of a team as Rochester on paper, Wash. U. still did well to contain the Eagle scorers. In each contest, the Wash. U. defense held up on the perimeter; the Red and Green held Rochester to 4-of-18 and Emory to 3-of-16 from three.
The Bears will get a chance to avenge the loss right away, hosting Rochester Friday at Francis Field House. They can also double up on Emory when they host the Eagles Sunday.