Bears mauled by NYU Violets, blasted 95-42 in New York City

| Senior Sports Editor

“This does not happen to the Wash. U. Bears,” the New York University play-by-play announcer declared as the Washington University women’s basketball team continued to slog through the first half of their eventual loss to the Violets. The Bears did not manage to get on the board until the final minute of the first quarter. Senior forward Kristina Schmelter’s jump shot with 45 seconds left in the opening period prevented Wash. U. from getting blanked and ended a 17-point run by NYU to start the game.

Photo by Curran Neenan

The second quarter was only marginally better. Wash. U. managed 13 points, but NYU’s scoring output ballooned from 17 in the first quarter to 25 in the second. By the time the buzzer sounded on a 42-15 game at half-time, the game was already over. NYU went on to win 95-42.

The loss brought the Bears to 7-6 in the University Athletic Association (UAA) and 14-10 overall. It snapped a four game winning streak, and the 53-point deficit was the Bears’ largest margin of defeat since a 59-point loss to Greenville University during the 1982-1983 season.

The stakes only magnified the humiliating sting of defeat. The Bears entered the day only one game behind NYU in the UAA standings and two games behind the University of Chicago in first place. After the Bears won on Friday (over Brandeis University, 72-60), they desperately needed to win on Sunday if they wanted a chance at the postseason. Instead, they laid an egg. They were lethargic on offense and porous on defense. Even the NYU bench, which saw plenty of action late in the game, scored at will against the Bears.

The Bears have been one of the best three-point shooting teams in the UAA this season. They are tied for second in the conference in made three pointers. On Sunday, they could not hit the broad side of a barn from behind the arc. They went 2-21 from three-point land. On the other sideline, the bucket seemed as wide as an ocean: NYU drained 16 of their 40 three-point attempts, matching a UAA game-high. The gulf in shooting extended everywhere on the court. NYU shot 48.1% from the field compared to 25.9% for the Red and Green. Freshman Sammi Matoush led the Bears with 11 points followed by senior Kristina Schmelter’s 10 points. Freshmen Molly Gannon and Rachel Mahler added seven and five points, respectively. No other Wash. U. player scored more than five points.

NYU also won the rebounding battle by a wide margin, 52-30. That translated into an edge in second chance points (13-0) and points in the paint (24-16).

If there was a bright spot for the Bears on the day, it was their free throw percentage. The Red and Green managed to shoot 75% (12-16) from the charity spot compared to 62.5% (5-8) for NYU.

The conference season for the Bears has been full of ups and downs. After losing four of their first five games in the UAA, the Bears had battled back to win six of their last seven games. Sunday’s loss represents a low point in a series of highs which only makes the defeat feel more significant.

The Bears will finish the regular season next weekend at Chicago on Saturday at 1 p.m.

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