Men’s basketball wins big to begin season

| Sports Editor

Senior forward Dylan Richter receives a pass during Tuesday’s game against MacMurray College. Richter scored 18 points during the 91-64 victory.Ben Gottesdiener | Student Life

Senior forward Dylan Richter receives a pass during Tuesday’s game against MacMurray College. Richter scored 18 points during the 91-64 victory.

The Washington University men’s basketball team opened its 2011-12 season with a 91-64 win against MacMurray College on Tuesday.

“You never know what to expect when you open the season,” head coach Mark Edwards said. “We’ve been working hard, but we haven’t had any type of opportunity to compete against someone from outside. We don’t know where we are in the development stage, and I thought overall our guys did a great job.”

The Bears trailed 10-5 in the first five minutes, missing their first four shots from behind the arc. With 12:50 left, a three-pointer from Clint Lee gave the Highlanders their largest lead of the game, 15-9.

However, senior co-captain Dylan Richter stepped up halfway through the first period with a fast-break lay-up, giving Wash. U. an 18-17 lead as part of an 11-0 run. Freshman Brayden Teuscher finished the run with a lay-up to extend Wash. U.’s lead 23-17. Back-to-back three-pointers from Richter and Teuscher pushed the Bears’ lead to 29-21.

“Brayden had a great introduction into college basketball with a great statistical game,” Edwards said.

Wash. U. took a 42-32 lead into halftime, ending the first half with 18 points from Richter. Teuscher added nine points and four steals.

“I was pleased with our play. I thought we competed really well,” Edwards said.

After only four minutes in the second half, the Bears’ lead grew. A jumping steal by junior Ben Hoener led to a fast-break lay-up for sophomore Tim Cooney, pushing the score to 57-40. Richter forced another turnover, leading to another lay-up by sophomore Chris Klimek.

Cooney capped a 10-0 run with a lay-up to push the lead to 63-40 at 14:22. Wash. U. shot a scorching 55.3 percent from the field in the second half.

“We did really well executing our plays and playing together,” Richter said. “Through practice we have had the opportunity to play as a unit and build up team chemistry. We played relaxed, not in the sense that we’re not trying hard, but in the sense that we were poised and not getting flustered.”

Teuscher had 17 points, five assists and five steals in his collegiate debut. Klimek also added 12 second-half points on 5-of-7 shooting in his first game after missing last season with an injury. Richter led all scorers with 24 points.

“Dylan had a great offensive scoring game for us,” Edwards said. “We were excited because this is the first time he’s opened the season with us. It was neat to have him open the season so strong.”

“I think a lot of people stepped up for us, and it’s a testament to all the hard work people are putting in during practice,” Richter said.

The Bears outscored MacMurray 22-2 in fast break points and had a 21-6 advantage in second-chance points.

“It was a perfect first game to start out with to build the confidence on the team, especially because we have some new guys stepping up,” Richter said. “It is important for them to get comfortable playing and it showed we have a lot of weapons on the team. It puts us in a good position going forward.”

Wash. U. begins a stretch of four straight road games with two tough games this weekend in Spokane, Wash. The Bears face Whitman College on Friday at 8 p.m. PST, followed by a matchup on Sunday at 3 p.m. PST against No. 12 Whitworth College.

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