Santa Cruz, Calif., Nov. 29, 2014 – Senior forward Matt Palucki scored 16 of his game-high 24 points in the second half to lead to the No. 4-ranked Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team to an 82-67 over Fontbonne University Saturday at Kaiser Permanente Arena in Santa Cruz, Calif.
Washington University broke open a two-point halftime lead by hitting 6-of-10 from three-point range to outscore Fontbonne 44-31 in the second half.
Washington U. improved to 6-0 with the win, while Fontbonne dropped to 0-4. The Bears are 6-0 for the first time since the 2012-13 season, and for the sixth time under head coach Mark Edwards.
Washington U. shot 53.4 percent (31-58) from the field, and hit a season-high 55.6 percent (10-18) from three-point range. The Bears had 22 assists on 31 field goals and outrebounded Fontbonne 42-25. WUSTL struggled from the free-throw line (10-20) and committed a season-high 22 turnovers.
Fontbonne made four its first five shots and led 10-0 two minutes into the contest. After a 30-second timeout by Washington U. head coach Mark Edwards, the Bears settled in and after a Palucki three and a jumper by senior forward Nick Burt the lead was cut into half.
The Griffins led for the first 13 minutes of the game, but a three-pointer by Silverman-Lloyd with 6:41 to play before half gave Washington U. its first lead of the game at 29-28.
The Bears took a 38-36 lead to the locker room after shooting 54.2 percent (13-24) from the field. Fontbonne turned 14 Washington U. turnovers into 16 points in the opening half.
Washington U. got the lead into double figures (55-45) after a 14-2 run early in the second half. Back-to-back threes by Palucki made it 72-56 with 6:21 to play and put the game out of reach. The Bears shot 52.9 percent (18-34) from the field in the second half.
Blake Welch (20 points) and Jared Greenlee (11) each scored in double figures for Fontbonne, who shot 46.3 percent (25-54) from the field and hit 5-of-15 from three-point range.
Washington University hosts the 31st Annual Lopata Classic Friday-Saturday, Dec. 5-6, at the WU Field House. The Bears take on the University of La Verne Friday at 8 p.m., followed by a matchup with Trinity University (Texas) Saturday at 8 p.m.
Bear Notebook: Washington U. is 15-1 all-time against Fontbonne, and the Bears have won the last 13 meetings … The Bears have won 14-straight games away from home, and has not lost on the road since a 98-73 defeat at Illinois Wesleyan University Dec. 7, 2013 … Highsmith leads the team and is second in the UAA shooting 74.2 percent from the field.