Bears advance to national semifinal

| Executive Editor

The Washington University women’s basketball team is heading to the national semifinal game of the Division III NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship for the third consecutive season.

The defending national champions fought back from an early 11-2 deficit to defeat No. 6 University of Chicago 63-58 on Saturday on the campus of Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Ky.

The Maroons had defeated the Bears in their two previous matchups this season, but No. 12 Wash. U. rallied behind tough defense and clutch shooting to open up a 33-22 lead that would hold for the remainder of the game.

Seniors Kathryn Berger and Alex Hoover led the team with 14 and 13 points scored, respectively. Hoover also grabbed eight rebounds and assisted on six baskets. Juniors Brianne Monahan and Dani Hoover also contributed 12 and 9 points, respectively, in the victory.

Wash. U. held the Maroon offense in check, limiting Chicago to just 32.8 percent shooting on the game. Meghan Herrick scored 27 points for the Maroons, by the team’s second highest scorer, Morgan Herrick, added just eight points.

While neither team shot the ball particularly well, the Bears went 16-18 from the free-throw line to build and maintain their lead.

Chicago had won both conference matchups with Wash. U. on the season, including the regular season finale on Feb. 26 61-51, to win the 2010-2011 University Athletic Association title.

The win closes a weekend in which the Bears also upset No. 1 Thomas More, hading the Saints their first loss of the season.

The Bears head to Bloomington, Ill. on Friday for the national semifinal game against host, No. 7 Illinois Wesleyan University. Wash. U. lost to Illinois Wesleyan 73-68 on Nov. 20 at the Tip Off Tournament. No. 2 Amherst College will face No. 11 Christopher Newport University in the other matchup.

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