Women’s basketball dominates behind strong second half

| Sports Editor

Senior Alex Hoover attempts a three pointer on Sunday against Augustana. Hoover scored 17 points in 25 minutes in the team’s 78-48 victory over the Vikings.Johann Qua Hiansen | Student Life

Senior Alex Hoover attempts a three pointer on Sunday against Augustana. Hoover scored 17 points in 25 minutes in the team’s 78-48 victory over the Vikings.

A week after ending DePauw University’s 50-game home winning streak, the Washington University women’s basketball team returned to the WU Field House and extended its own home winning streak to 30 games with a 78-48 victory over Augustana College.

The win put the No. 7 Bears at 3-1 on the young season.

“We love playing at home, we love the crowd, we love the fans that you always see in the stands, and it’s just kind of a pride thing,” senior Alex Hoover said. “You’ve got to protect home court.”

Most of the resistance put up by the visiting Vikings came in the early moments of the game. The Bears struggled to get going offensively despite an initial burst from freshman Jordan Rettig, who scored six points in first two minutes of the game. With 9:04 left in the half, the Bears trailed Augustana 17-14 and were shooting .350 (7-for-20) from the field—well below their mark of .449 on the season to date.

“They’re a very scrappy team, and so we were getting one shot, and we weren’t getting any offensive rebounds,” Hoover said. “We were letting them do a lot of driving.”

Senior Kathryn Berger helped open a large lead for Wash. U. by taking the game into her own hands. She scored 11 points—including three consecutive three-pointers in less than two minutes—to help fuel a 13-2 run. Wash. U., which hit eight of its final 11 shots in the half, went into the locker room up 33-25 despite being outrebounded 20-19.

“We started to move the ball, and we just got a lot more comfortable,” Berger said. “We had been passing it into the post, and once their defense collapses, more three-point shooters are going to be [open] around the outside. It was really just running through our game plan.”

After the Vikings trimmed the lead down to six in the second half, Wash. U. went on a 7-0 run capped by a three-pointer from Hoover. The run brought the lead to double figures, and the margin would only grow from there, as the Bears outscored the Vikings 45-23 in the second half and led by as much as 32 in the closing minutes.

The second half featured a much more pronounced edge for the Red and Green in nearly all facets of the game. Wash. U. outrebounded the Vikings 34-15 while tallying 17 offensive boards. The Bears shot 48.8 percent on the half, compared to 29.4 percent for Augustana.

Berger, who was named University Athletic Association athlete of the week for her efforts in the game, led the offense with 18 points and five assists in just 22 minutes on the floor. Hoover was right behind at 17 points on 8-for-12 shooting and Rettig chipped in nine more.

Also noteworthy was Rettig’s performance on the boards; after tallying ten rebounds in the team’s first three games, she collected 13 in the contest and currently leads the team in total rebounds.

“You’ve got to let freshmen get comfortable in this system. She’s played impact minutes in the first three games,” head coach Nancy Fahey said. “One of the places we really wanted her to improve on was her boarding, and she was more dominant today, and I think she’s a player that will keep developing in our system.”

Ten blocks from nine different players put the Bears just one rejection short of tying the school record, and freshman Lucy Montgomery led the team with six of a season-high 25 assists.

Wash. U. is back in action this weekend at home for the McWilliams Classic. The team will take on the University of New England on Friday at 6 p.m. and, depending on the result of Friday’s games, will face either Ohio Wesleyan University or Elmhurst College at either 2 or 6 p.m. on Saturday.

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