Women’s basketball split close pair of home matchups

| Sports Reporter

Claire Schaeperkoetter drives past an Emory Univesity defender on Sunday. The Bears rebounded from a loss Friday night to No. 5 University of Rochester, to beat Emory 83-80.

Claire Schaeperkoetter drives past an Emory Univesity defender on Sunday. The Bears rebounded from a loss Friday night to No. 5 University of Rochester, to beat Emory 83-80.

The Washington University women’s basketball team faced a pair of strong opponents this weekend in University Athletic Association play and came away with one win and one loss.

The Bears defeated their rival, the Emory University Eagles, on Sunday afternoon. The game was hard-fought from start to finish and went into overtime before the Bears prevailed, 83-80.

Wash. U. went on a 10-2 run to start the game as captain and senior guard Dani Hoover hit two three-pointers.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game,” Hoover said. “They’re a run-and-jump team, very feisty, take a lot of three-pointers, and they’re dangerous when they get hot. We really wanted to come out and play our game and not let them be the aggressors.”

The Eagles refused to go away early, outdoing the Bears’ early run with an 11-0 run of their own. The rest of the half was back and forth, with the biggest lead of the game, 29-20, going to the Red and Green with 6:39 left in the first half. Wash. U. entered halftime with a 40-37 lead.

Both teams exchanged buckets to start the second half, but with 12 minutes left in the game, Emory took the lead on a three-pointer. The Bears were able to retake the lead with 10:51 remaining on a layup by freshman guard Maddy Scheppers, who led the team with a career-high 19 points.

“I think I was just taking my open shots,” Scheppers said.

The Eagles were able to take the lead again, however, and stretched it to six points with 5:15 remaining. With three minutes left in the game, Hoover hit a three-pointer to tie the score at 72 apiece.

“Sometimes it’s not how many points; it’s when they are,” Nancy Fahey, head coach, said of Hoover’s performance. “That was a big shot. We gave her the ball late in the game, and she’s small, and she wreaks some havoc out there.”

With 40 seconds left in the game, freshman forward Alyssa Johanson hit a jump shot to give the Bears a two-point lead.

“Four [freshmen] are receiving a lot of playing time in significant moments,” Fahey said. “They’re growing. I tell them right now that there are no freshmen on the team because their experience is way beyond that. We’ve had injuries—we’ve had that— but people don’t care. We have competition to play.”

However, Emory hit two foul shots with eight seconds to go to send the game into overtime.

In overtime the Bears came out strong and led 78-74 with 3:37 to play. The Eagles, however, took the lead after Emory’s Misha Jackson made a layup while being fouled and then hit the ensuing free throw. However, shortly after, Johanson was sent to the line, where she sank both of her free throws.

With nine seconds remaining, Wash. U. led 83-80, and Emory had the ball. The Bears stood strong and were able to force an errant three-pointer at the buzzer that fell short.

On Friday night the Bears faced the No. 5 University of Rochester Yellowjackets, who came into the game undefeated. The game was strongly contested and culminated with a last second effort by freshman Melissa Gilkey. Hoover led the team with 17 points and seven rebounds, and Johanson had a career-high 12 points.

“They’re a good defensive team and they’re a good offensive team,” Fahey said. “They took some things away from us, and they move the ball really well on offense. I was really proud of the fact that, yeah, we got behind, and good teams make good runs, but we made a good run right back.”

After trailing 5-3 in the first minute of the game, the Bears fired back and went on an 11-0 run. The Yellowjackets, however, later went on a 9-0 run to tie the game at 18 apiece. At the end of the first half the Bears trailed by five.

Rochester came out firing in the second half and extended their lead to 51-39. However, with 13 minutes remaining the Bears forced three turnovers to cut the Yellowjackets lead to six. The rest of the game was a back-and-forth battle with the teams trading buckets.

With 1:10 left in the game, Gilkey evened the score with a layup. With 19 seconds remaining the Yellowjackets retook the lead with a second-chance layup. Wash. U. was unable to convert on scoring chances when it got the ball back, but forced a turnover on the inbounds with three and half seconds left. Gilkey missed the basket on her final shot, and with the miss Wash. U. fell to 14-3 on the season. This was the first time in Rochester’s history that it defeated the Bears in the Field House.

“Of the top 10 teams in the country, three of them are UAA teams,” Fahey said. “It’s probably the toughest I’ve seen it. Losing at home certainly is tough, but we’ve got to go on the road and kind of fight back. We’re a very young team and so we’re really just trying to concentrate on the next game.”

Next up for the Bears is a two-game road trip to face the University of Rochester and Emory University again. The Bears play the Yellowjackets in Rochester on Friday at 6 p.m. EST and Emory in Atlanta at 2 p.m. EST on Sunday.

With additional reporting by Kurt Rohrbeck.

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