Archive for December, 2007

Men’s basketball: Smith leads Bears to win over Illinois Wesleyan

Monday, December 10th, 2007 | Andrei Berman
Scott Bressler

In a season which is likely to be replete with nail-biting games, Saturday’s down-to-the-wire battle with Illinois Wesleyan University represents what the Washington University men’s basketball team hopes will be the end result in many of its contests this winter: a hard-fought victory.

In the team’s fifth game since losing pre-season All-American point guard Sean Wallis to a season-ending injury, the 12th-ranked Bears struggled early, then rediscovered their offensive rhythm in the second half and came away with a solid win over a young but very talented IWU team, 69-66.

For the second consecutive game, the Wash. U. offense sputtered in the early going, as the hosts hit just three of their first 21 field goal attempts. The poor early shooting was compounded by foul trouble to junior Tyler Nading, the Bears’ leading scorer and rebounder.

With the versatile forward on the bench after being ticketed for two quick fouls in the game’s first six minutes, the Red and Green struggled to score and trailed by a score of 17-9 with just over eight minutes to play in the first half.

Fortunately for the defending UAA champions, a handful of Bears quickly picked up the offensive slack in Nading’s absence, and Wash. U. promptly tied the game at 19 with a 10-2 run over the next three and a half minutes.

“Their game plan was to get into my space and make me uncomfortable and it worked, but I was really proud of how the guys responded,” commented Nading.

By halftime, Wash. U. led the pesky visitors 29-24. That early lead was in large part due to the first-half performance of swingman Cameron Smith. The 6’5″ sophomore scored ten points, including a pair of threes. He also tallied eight rebounds, enabling the Bears to remain competitive with Nading on the bench.

“Cam Smith had a great half. It’s the best I’ve ever seen him play in his first two years here. He took on his shoulders a little bit which was great,” said Nading.

In the second half, the fluidity of Wash.U.’s offense improved markedly, and a quartet of scorers went to work on the offensive end. Converted point guard Aaron Thompson (13 points), all-American big man Troy Ruths (14 points), and senior sharpshooter Danny O’Boyle (14 points) all found their touch and with Nading back in the game, it appeared the Bears might race away with a relatively easy win.

After the Titans opened the half with consecutive baskets to cut the Wash. U. lead to one, the Bears reeled off ten unanswered points, to give the hosts a seemingly commanding 39-31 margin just four minutes into the second frame. The run was highlighted by a pair of threes from Thompson, last year’s UAA Rookie of the Year, and an even more important component in the Wash. U. offense with Wallis sidelined.

But the Titans, led by their terrific rookie guard Sean Johnson, refused to go away quietly. Johnson hit 17 second-half points to keep IWU in the game until the final buzzer. The freshman guard stroked four threes, a pair of which came from well beyond the arch. His efforts at engineering a comeback were aided by athletic big man Darius Gant. Gant finished with 12 points and led the former perennial Division-III power in rebounds with 11.

“He had a big game,” said Nading of Johnson. “He was shooting the ball really well. That team is going to be good and they’re developing and maturing as a team right now, but I think February and March they’re going to be very tough.”

Ultimately, though, Wash. U.’s strong man-to-man defense ensured that the more experienced Bears would escape Francis Field House with a solid non-conference win. Keyed by a spectacular late-game steal by Nading, Wash. U. was able to boost its lead to three on a free-throw by reserve guard Ross Kelley with four seconds to go, and IWU failed to get off a shot on its last possession before the final buzzer sounded.

Wash. U., which makes the short walk to Fontbonne for a Tuesday night tilt at 8 p.m., moved to 6-2 with the win.

“I think we’re getting better each game. It’s been less ugly each game since Sean’s gone down which is good news. I’d rather win a game by 2 points than by 30 points,” said Nading.

Women’s basketball: Lady Bears mauled by McKendree

Monday, December 10th, 2007 | Josh Goldman
Scott Bressler

For the first time since the 1986-87 season, the McKendree University Bearcats defeated Washington University’s women’s basketball team. With the game tied at 22 midway through the first half, McKendree went on a 22-7 run to end the half en route to a 76-49 win.

The Bears were unable to score consistently, making just 18 field goals and shooting a miserable 27% from the field and 44% from the free throw line. Junior Jill Brandt led the team with 10 points on 2-8 shooting. Classmate Halsey Ward chipped in nine points in the loss.

“We started out strong. We couldn’t recover at halftime.” stated Head Coach Nancy Fahey.

Friday was the first day that the Lady Bears were without star forward Jaimie McFarlin, but her injury is not an excuse for Friday’s contest.

“It would be a lie to say that we did not miss Jaimie. However, we have a lot of talent on this team, and that includes other people in the post position. Losing Jaimie will not mean losing our ability to pound the ball inside successfully,” said senior captain Sarah Tibesar.

However, since a third of the teams’ field goals came from behind the arc, it is clear that the WU offense became more of a perimeter attack with McFarlin out.

McKendree shot a modest 45% from the floor, but five players, including three off of the bench, scored in double digits.

“We weren’t successfully playing our defensive system, which gave McKendree the opportunity to get more points off dribble drives than our defense would normally allow,” said Tibesar.

The Bears closed the lead to 13 points with 13:27 left in the game, but McKendree outscored the Red and Green for the remainder of the game to win by 27.

Fahey admitted after Friday’s game that the loss of McFarlin altered the offense.

“We’re looking at a different approach. We have to do it quickly since we have a game on Tuesday. We need to get our balance back,” she explained.

Part of this adjustment will consist of finding more ways to get more inside shot attempts.

Wash. U. returns to St. Louis on Tuesday for a 5:30 game against Fontbonne University. The game before a five game home stand, Red Alert is urging students to meet at the clock tower at five to cross Wydown and attend the game.

As always, students wearing Red Alert T-shirts will receive pizza, and the half time show will include a contest between Wash. U. and Fontbonne students.

Bears climb to top of Directors’ Cup standings

Monday, December 10th, 2007 | Johann Qua Hiansen

For the first time ever, Washington University is at the top of the Sports Academy Directors’ Cup standings.

Not only is Wash. U. at the top of the Division III standing for the awards which measures overall excellence in sports, it currently has the most points of any school in Division I, II or III.

Backed by the national championship title of the volleyball team, the ninth in school history, as well as the strong performances of the women’s cross country team and both soccer teams, the Bears have a total of 322 points. Amherst, the current second-place team, has only 291 points.

Standings are calculated by awarding points based on a school’s finish in up to nine men’s and nine women’s sports. The Director’s Cup strives to recognize schools with broad programs that see success in multiple sports.

“It’s a very positive reflection on Wash. U. athletics,” said Athletics Director John Schael. “It sends a good message to high school students where they can get an exceptional education and an excellent athletic experience. We’ve got talented student athletes, excellent coaches and support from the university community.”

Volleyball’s ninth title turned out to be its most impressive as it lost an unheard of five matches this season and beat three teams it had lost to earlier in the final round of tournament play.

The women’s cross country squad crossed the finish third at the NCAA meet. This tied their best finish but produced a new record as three runners took home prestigious awards. Seniors Tricia Frisella, Kate Pentak and Tyler Mulkin received All-America honors. Pentak and Mulkin crossed the line side by side in true team fashion separated by only a second.

The fifth-place men’s soccer team finished the season in a hard fought 2-1 loss to Trinity University in the Elite Eight. Their advance to sectionals and 16 wins this season marked their best season since 1995.

The women’s soccer team finished ninth, following a loss to The College of New Jersey in the Sweet Sixteen, their second consecutive year advancing to that round.

The Red and Green were able to take many tight games throughout the season, which according to Schael, can be attributed to growing fan support.

Overall, the athletic department is very happy with these results.

“We had a strong fall with four top 10 finishes,” said Sports Information Director Chris Mitchell. “It’s nice to be on top.”

The final Division III Fall standings will be released on December 20. “We pretty optimistic,” said Schael.

Current Directors’ Cup standings

1. Washington University, 322 points
2. Amherst College, 291 points
3. Williams College, 286 points
4. Calvin College, 285 points
5. Emory University, 237 points

A year in Washington University sports

Monday, December 10th, 2007 | Trisha Wolf
Scott Bressler


The women’s basketball team loses to arch-rival New York University 83-58, the team’s worst loss ever under head coach Nancy Fahey.

Troy Ruths of the men’s basketball team is named to the USA Today’s All-USA College Academic Third Team for his work in computer science.


Troy Ruths is named Academic Player of the Year by ESPN The Magazine.

Men’s basketball reaches the Final Four for the first time in school history. Though the team falls in the semifinals, there is great hope for next season as the squad will only lose one key player.

Women’s basketball reaches the national championship game, losing to DePauw University 55-52. Their postseason run was particularly impressive as the team opened the season 1-3. They also enacted revenge against NYU, beating them 73-53 in the semifinals.

Meredith Nordbrock and Kelly Kono each garner seven All-American citations at the NCAA swimming and diving championships.


Laurel Sagartz pitches the final perfect game of her career. She had three in her senior season and two others over her four years. She also had a total of nine no-hitters in her career.

John Watts finishes second at the NCAA Championships, winning the national Rookie of the Year award.

Softball advances to the Collegiate World Series for the first time in the team’s seven-year history. The squad falls in the finals to Linfield College.


David Kramer, class of 2007, begins his professional baseball career in the inaugural season of the Israel Baseball League.


Over the span of two weekends, the volleyball team loses four games, raising a number of questions about the usual top-notch team.

The women’s soccer team beats Illinois Wesleyan for the first time since 2000, marking their first victory against the squad under head coach Wendy Dillinger.


John Watts wins Washington University’s first individual men’s tennis title in school history, defeating Gustavus Adolphus’ Andy Bryan 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 in the finals at the ITA Fall Championships.


Football finishes 7-3, going better than 6-4 for the first time since 2001.

The women’s cross country team finishes third at the NCAA meet. Seniors Tricia Frisella, Kate Pentak and Tyler Mulkin garner All-American honors.

Volleyball wins a NCAA record ninth national title, beating the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater 3-2 in the national championship match. The team also defeated three teams it had lost to earlier in the season during the final rounds of play.

Men’s soccer records their best season since 1995, advancing to the Elite Eight and recording 16 wins.


Jaimie McFarlin, a leader of the women’s basketball team tears her ACL and meniscus just weeks after point guard Sean Wallis of the men’s team breaks his leg. Both will be out for the rest of the season. Four other athletes have suffered season-ending injuries already this school year: Kim O’Keefe and Nina Noll of women’s soccer, Ethan Silver of men’s soccer and Emilie Walk of volleyball.

Destination: Home

Monday, December 10th, 2007 | Indu Chandrasekhar

For those returning home during the winter holidays, there are more preparations to make than just throwing all of the dirty clothes in a suitcase. Whether you are returning home from your first semester or your seventh, there are several important things to keep in mind.

1. Remember that the toilet paper at home is not 1/4-ply like in the dorms, so resist the urge to pull off a three-foot sheet.

2. Turn off your alarm clock!

3. If you haven’t already killed a goldfish, winter break is just daring you to become a murderer…so please, just take it home or leave it with a St. Louis friend.

4. A curfew will probably still be in effect when you return home. Consider asking the parents for a later time, but don’t be surprised when they come into your room at 10 p.m. and ask why you’re still awake.

5. Take advantage of the fact that you can drive. And that there is food in the fridge. And that both things are free.

6. When you unplug things in your dorm room, DO NOT unplug your refrigerator.

7. Don’t be afraid to request your favorite foods when you get home. Cooking for you is not a parent’s burden, it is a pleasure.

8. You might be having a TV for the first time in four months, but your family might not be willing to give it up so easily. Consider the dilemma of your father’s favorite news program versus “Gossip Girl.” Can you guess the winner?

9. Prepare for the reinstatement of dinner time.

10. Winter break might be a time for some of you to sleep in, but your family isn’t guaranteed to agree. You will be bothered about waking up past 10 a.m., so just find a way to deal.

Saving for a rainy day

Monday, December 10th, 2007 | Indu Chandrasekhar

As the holiday coupons wedge their way under the doors, don’t get carried away by sales. Advertisers are doing their best to tempt potential customers into passing out iPods and ponies to their closest friends and family. Most people spend a great deal of money around the holiday season with the justification that they will save later, but according to Mike Gordinier, a senior lecturer in the Olin Business School and professor of the popular Personal Finance class, now is the time to be saving, not spending-and not just in this time of the season, but in this time of life.

The common wisdom is to save now, and spend later. The following are some tips to help you with that mantra:

1. Live within your means. Don’t spend money you don’t have. It may seem obvious, but over-reliance on credit cards is an incredibly easy way to ring yourself up a mountain of debt.

2. Use credit cards, but do so sparingly. Gordinier recommends that you have two; make sure, however, to get the right kinds and to pay the full balance each month in order to establish a good credit history. Paying only the minimum balance creates debt faster than you think. When it comes to finding the right card, avoid the offers you get in the mail – the interest rates are usually higher since so many irresponsible people sign up for those cards. Gordinier recommends consulting to find the lowest fixed-rate credit cards.

3. When you get a paycheck, pay yourself first. This is the best way to guarantee having anything left at the end of the month. Setting aside 10 to 15 percent for later and then living on the rest is a good rule of thumb.
“If you spend first and then save, you end up never having anything to save,” said Gordinier.

4. Become an investor. Find an aggressive growth mutual fund that can protect and increase your investment. Don’t, however, invest all of your money; keep about three to six months of living expenses on hand in case of emergencies.

5. Be smart in paying off your loans. As a student and a future real-world adult, you are bound to have loans. Gordinier recommends taking a careful look at the interest rates on your loans and striking a good balance between paying off loans and investing your money. Generally, you don’t have to rush to pay off really low interest loans if you can invest that money, but you shouldn’t accumulate debt either; in the long run, you are more likely to be approved for the loans to buy a house or a car if you have less debt.

6. Students often plan to take time off and travel between graduating from college and starting a job (or continuing with more education). However, the money you make in your early post-graduation years is the money that will grow the most if you invest it; Furthermore, if you save and invest as much as you can in the early years of your adult life, you don’t have to save nearly as much after you get over the hill. If you can manage to save now, you’re set for life. That way, when you’re 45 and wondering what to get your former college roommate for the holidays, you really can get that pony.

In a relationship, don’t neglect yourself

Monday, December 10th, 2007 | Nicolle Neulist

The glow in the beginning of a relationship is alluring. Nurturing the early stages of a relationship is important, but some people take it too far and allow that new relationship glow to blind them. They allow the new relationship to become the main facet of their lives, or even the only one.

Do not make the mistake of neglecting the rest of your life when you find yourself in a relationship, no matter how serious the new union appears to be. The relationship is one meaningful aspect of your life, but is not the only one. Your classes, hobbies and friends still matter. All of the things that have always made you unique still matter. A relationship can be pleasant to have in addition to these things, but it does not take the place of them. A partner cannot do nearly as much to make you a confident and mature person as you can by remembering to live your own life.

This risk is of greatest concern for people inexperienced in relationships. If you’re in college and just now having your first real relationship, it’s very easy to let the new relationship become your entire universe. It’s easy to feel like you have to make up for all of that time you spent single while watching your friends, classmates and acquaintances running around with their significant others.

Resist that temptation. The fact that you haven’t been in a relationship before is something you can’t make up for. You can’t do anything to change it, so all you can do is enjoy the new addition to your life. Being in a relationship can be exciting, and it will be nice to gain experience relating to someone else romantically. But don’t let yourself fall into the idea that a romantic relationship is a magic panacea.

Realistically, it is also important to stay engaged in other aspects of your life because chances are that you will probably not be dating your new significant other for the rest of your life. It’s still early in your life. You are in the process of figuring out who you are and you cannot guarantee that your new love is going to be your lifelong love, but you can guarantee that you will continue to grow and thrive as a person despite whatever happens with your new love.

There is a more important and less cynical consideration to make as well. Even if the relationship does last for many years, it’s not healthy to focus your entire life on one person. After that beginning stage of your infatuation cools off into something more familiar, it becomes much harder to feel satisfied when you focus your entire life upon just one other person. You’ll realize the need to enjoy alone time, and you may struggle to get yourself back into the habit of participating on your old hobbies. You’ll also feel the need to reconnect with other people-people who may be wary to let you back into their lives if you have already spurned them in favor of that shiny new significant other.

You will also be a far more desirable partner if you stay engaged in the rest of your life while in the relationship. You and your partner will have a lot more to talk about if you each have active lives apart from each other. Insisting on spending a healthy amount of time away from your partner should him in the habit of taking advantage of that time to better himself, and you’ll both benefit from the attention you give to keeping your lives strong.

If your partner reacts badly to your desire to maintain some independence by acting either clingy or forbidding, you should have a conversation with her. Find out if her hesitance is because she is insecure or because she is controlling. If she is insecure, there is some possibility that you can assure her that this time apart will make the relationship a healthier one. If you get the feeling that her hesitance stems from an active desire to control you, however, it may be time to end the relationship and move on.

Whether you are single or in a relationship, you deserve the ability to keep your friends, your interests and your hobbies. A new relationship can be a lot of fun and a good relationship can be very edifying, but it is no substitute for being able to live an interesting life on your own terms. As tempting as it may be to let yourself be subsumed into your new relationship, don’t let it happen. Keeping other fulfilling parts of your life in your life will not only provide a safety net if the relationship fades away, but more importantly it will ensure that you remain an interesting and independent individual.

Fun, funky and memorable gift ideas

Monday, December 10th, 2007 | Lana Goldsmith

‘Tis the season to be giving, but sometimes it’s just so hard to find good gifts. Finding the perfect present can be time consuming, stressful and expensive, but it doesn’t have to be.

There’s something about the time and effort someone puts into a homemade gift. Cookies are always a winner, and a fun way to distribute them is to host a cookie bake, where everyone brings their cookie recipe to one house, bakes them and then everyone gets a doggie bag of assorted cookies to take back home.

As for more long-lasting gifts, there are plenty of options. Sure, there are tons of pictures of you and friends on Facebook, but you can’t look at them unless you’re near a computer. Print out a few and make a collage or photo album for friends-these days, there’s a real novelty in having prints.

Even a creative, artfully done gift card could make a lovely gift. Feeling really artsy? How about giving your friend a wallet made from the leftover duct tape you still have from fall move-in? (If you like the idea but don’t have the time duct tape wallets can be found at for $20; convenient, but a little steep for something made out of tape.)

If you have a chance to get off campus and shop, Urban Outfitters never fails to have eccentric, unique offerings. Edible shot glasses made of candy canes come in a set of two for $9. They have a wide array of crazy literature-crazy enough to make getting a book as a present exciting. Places like H&M also carry trinkets and accessories that are out of the ordinary.

One of the saddest things about the end of fall semester is saying goodbye to all of those friends going to study abroad. Granted, it was their choice to go off and have amazing new experiences in exotic locations, but they’ll be missing friends. These friends are the perfect candidates for something sentimental to remind them of how much they are loved by their friends back in the States.

If you want your globetrotting friend to be able to take a little piece of you with them, the photo department at Walgreen’s is a great place to start. Here you can get an assortment of items, such as stickers, mugs, stuffed animals, playing cards, calendars, frosted steins and more, printed with the picture of your choosing. All of these items cost less than $25. You could get your girlfriend a poster with that picture of the two of you having a ball in your dorm, or get her a pillowcase with Patrick Dempsey’s face on it-inside jokes are always priceless.

If you’re looking to give your soon-to-be-abroad friend something less joke-like and more practical, you can do a little research on the country she is going to and get a travel book or set of maps for the area. Does your friend have a favorite candy or other non-perishable food that she may not be able to get out of the country? Send her off with a secret stash.

Looking for something distinctly St. Louis for your friends at home? Buy local. Bissinger’s is a gourmet chocolate company that started right here and has locations throughout St. Louis (including the Galleria). St. Louis is also home to one of the country’s 12 Anheuser-Busch breweries. Visit the gift shop to purchase paraphernalia for the of-age Budweiser-enthusiast in your life.

With finals at the door (or already here), it may be easier to do all your shopping from your computer. There are tons of fun sites out there that give you the option of searching for gifts by price, occasion or recipient. For anyone and everyone, is a good place to start. On this site, you can find good gift matches according to the personality of the recipient. is similar but allows you to search for specific people and occasions.

For your Jewish friends who sometimes get overwhelmed with Christmas stuff, has a plethora of funny options. Check out the Hebrew Bazooka Joe bubble gum, the “Chai Maintenance” apparel and the underwear with the word “tush” across the.well, you know.

If you really, really have no time whatsoever, there are two last resort options. The first: re-gifting. It’s doable, but be careful not to accidentally give a gift back to the person who gave it to you (it was funny when Will Ferrell did it in Old School with the bread maker, but it doesn’t go over as well in real life). The second, safer option is the school bookstore or Bear Necessities.

Rash of burglaries prompts police investigation

Monday, December 10th, 2007 | Sam Guzik

The Washington University Police Department is investigating several burglaries which struck suites in the Hurd, Hitzeman and Myers complex over winter break.

The police believe that burglars entered the suites through exterior balcony doors at some time between December 21 and December 28 when the residence halls were largely empty.

“Police are following up several leads in the investigation and are also reviewing video recordings of the complex,” said a news advisory sent to Student Life. “Initial reports suggest that most of the items taken were pieces of electronic equipment.”

According to the department media log, as of January 9 more than $1,700 worth of personal items have been reported missing to the police.

Police have issued a crime alert to residents of the South 40 reminding them to take basic security precautions like locking doors and not propping open exterior entrances.

The police department encourages any persons with information that may be of value to call 935-5555 or Crimestoppers at 866-371-TIPS. Anonymous information can also be provided to WUPD by visiting the “Silent Witness” at

Check and Wednesday’s issue of Student Life for more information.

Kitchen burns in Greenway Apartments

Monday, December 10th, 2007 | Trisha Wolf

A small grease fire occurred in Greenway Apartments around 6:00 p.m. Wednesday evening and was quickly extinguished.

According to Bill Hinson, a battalion chief of the University City Fire Department, a resident was cooking when a grease fire began in her kitchen. The fire then spread from the stove to the cabinets, which activated the sprinklers. The sprinklers extinguished the fire even before the fire department responded.

“My suitemate was cooking and began rambling and [cursing],” said Gwen Vincent, a Dutch exchange student and resident of the apartment. “I went out to see what was going on and saw smoke. I told her to get out and started banging on other doors in the hallway.”

Vincent was scheduled to depart the University tomorrow, but is now unsure of her plans as she will not be able to sleep in her room tonight.

Despite the hallway fire alarms, some Greenway residents did not realize that a fire had occurred. These alarms could not be heard very loudly within some apartments and the in-room alarms were not activated.

“If I had been sleeping it probably would not have woken me up,” said senior Nathan Orlofsky.

While the fire occurred on the first floor, the smell of smoke permeated up to the third floor of the building.

Residential Life could not be reached for comment at the time of this writing.