Bears advance to Sweet 16

| Executive Editor

The Washington University women’s basketball team defeated Hope College 56-52 on Saturday night on Hope’s campus in Holland, Mich., to reach the third round of the 2011 Division III NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament.

The match-up was a rematch of the 2010 national championship game, which the Bears won 65-59.

Senior Alex Hoover and her sister Dani, a junior, led the team with 16 and 15 points scored, respectively.

Neither team led by more than four points in the first half, and the No. 12 Bears took a 27-26 lead over the No. 4 Flying Dutch into halftime.

With 10:29 remaining in the game, Dani Hoover connected on a three-pointer to give Wash. U. a 40-37 lead that would grow to as large as 10 points before Hope fought back to lose by four.

The Bears shot 37.5 percent from the floor on the game and 47.4 percent (9 for 19) from three-point range. Hope shot just 28.1 percent from the floor in the game.

Hope standout Carrie Snikkers scored 23 points in the loss, but no other player on the Flying Dutch scored more than six points.

Wash. U. lost to the Flying Dutch on Dec. 29 but has won the past two postseason games against Hope, including the 2010 national championship game.

The Bears will face No. 1 Thomas More College (30-0) on Friday in the third round of the NCAA tournament. Thomas More will host NCAA sectional play, with the University of Chicago facing Greensboro College in the other third-round match-up.