No. 18 WashU Drops Top-25 Season-Opener with No. 22 UTD

Photo by Danny Reise/WUSTL Photos
Photo by Danny Reise/WUSTL Photos

St. Louis, Mo., Nov. 16, 2018 – The No. 18-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team led for roughly three-quarters of action but No. 22 University of Texas at Dallas erupted for 39 points in the fourth quarter to claim an 86-77 win over the Bears in their season-opening 18th Annual McWilliams Classic game.

WashU dropped its first season-opener since the 2007-08 season, while the Comets improved to 1-0. UTD shot 63.3-percent from the field in the second half after the Bears forced the Comets into nine turnovers in the first half. WashU converted more free-throws than UTD, 17-16, but the Comets sank 10 three-pointers compared to the Bears six.

Senior forward Madeline Homoly finished with a game-high 22 points, while senior guards Caroline Ballard (14) and Rachael Sondag (13) also reached double figures. WashU outrebounded UTD 39-30 with junior center Kristina Schmelter totaling a team-high six boards.

Freshman Samantha Weaver drove down the lane and found Homoly for an open jumper on the wing in the first quarter which gave the Bears their first lead of the season. The first quarter was a defensive battle as the Bears held a first quarter lead of 10-7.

Halfway through the second quarter senior guard Katie Claussner raced down the court before dishing the ball off to Ballard who drained a shot from beyond the arc to push WashU's lead to double figures. The Bears led 19-9 with 5:52 to go in the second.

The Comets would not give in however and nearly tied the game back open minutes later. Sondag sank a pair of free-throws before Weaver added 1-of-2 in the final minute of the half to help WashU to a 32-30 advantage. Homoly was 5-of-9 from the field in the first two quarters with 10 points.

UTD evened the game at 44-all with 2:50 remaining in the third quarter, but Homoly answered on the following possession as Ballard found her open in the paint. Ballard drained a last second third quarter three-pointer which gave the Bears a 53-47 edge heading into the final quarter of play.

The Comets quickly scored nine points and evened the score at 56-56 less than two minutes into the fourth. UTD took a 59-58 lead on a triple, outscoring the Bears 12-5 in the first four minutes of play. The trend continued as the Comets stretched their lead with several fast break baskets.

The Bears attempted to trim the deficit but UTD pulled away with several free-throws down the stretch. WashU will play against Blackburn College in the consolation game of the McWilliams Classic on Saturday at 5 p.m. UTD will face Ithaca College, who defeated Blackburn on Friday, in the 18th Annual McWilliams Classic Championship game.