Women’s basketball eases past Greenville on the road, moves to 4-2
The Washington University women’s basketball team won its second consecutive game on Monday, defeating Greenville University 71-55.
The Bears got out to a hot start in the opening 10 minutes of play. After the first quarter, they led 20-10. Senior Becca Clark-Callender and freshman Samantha Weaver led the way with six points each entering the second quarter, when the Bears extended their lead. Early in the second quarter, the Bears pushed the lead to 16 points. After a Greenville timeout, Wash. U. continued to distance themselves. Junior Kristina Schmelter scored three times in a run that put Wash. U. up 40-17. Greenville scored the last seven points of the half to narrow the lead to 40-24.
Clark-Callender led the Bears in points in the first half with nine. She was a perfect 3-for-3 beyond the arc. Schmelter was just behind her with eight points. Senior Madeline Homoly had seven points and eight rebounds in the first half. She would finish with 13 points and 10 rebounds to record her second double double of the season. The Bears outrebounded Greenville 50-34 and had a 19-6 advantage in second chance points.
Out of the break, Greenville seemed to be gaining traction, cutting the lead down to seven with 8:05 to go in the third quarter. After that, Wash. U. managed to stop the run and the teams exchanged baskets until freshman Isabelle Hren hit a three-pointer to end the third quarter and push the Bears lead to double digits, 54-43. The Panthers briefly pulled within single digits again in the fourth, but a triple from senior Caroline Ballard expanded the Bears lead to 57-45. The game wouldn’t get any closer than that as the Bears coasted to victory in the waning minutes.
Schmelter would finish the game with 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting, leading all scorers. Her point total and 58.2 percent field goal percentage were both her highest marks of the season.
Defense was the name of the game for the Bears. They held the Panthers to 32 percent from the field and forced 16 turnovers. Wash. U. had 10 steals in the game, with Weaver and senior Katie Claussner both recording multiple steals. The Bears had extremely active hands on the defensive side. In addition to their 10 steals, the Bears also recorded eight blocks, with a lion’s share of those blocks coming from Hren, who recorded three blocks.
The Bears needed that defensive showing. They shot a mediocre 40.8 percent from the field themselves and were abysmal at the free-throw line, hitting only five of their 12 attempts from the charity stripe. By contrast, Greenville got to the free throw line twice as often as Wash. U. and shot a significantly better percentage, 16-24. Ballard and Botkin both shot 2-for-8 from the field, well below their season and career averages. Despite their lack of firepower, the Bears still easily triumphed over the Panthers.
With the victory, Wash. U. improved to 4-2 on the season. Wash. U. is 10-4 all-time against Greenville and has won nine consecutive contests against the Panthers. The Bears take on Westminster (Mo.) College on the road Thursday, Dec. 6.