St. Louis, Mo., Nov. 17, 2018 –The No. 18-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team earned its first victory of the season, defeating Blackburn College 101-43 in the consolation game of the 18thAnnual McWilliams Classic tournament in the WU Field House.
WashU improved to 1-1 on the year, while Blackburn dropped to 0-3. Senior forward Madeline Homoly was awarded All-Tournament honors as she scored 22 points in the win as well as in the season-opener. She recorded a double-double with 11 rebounds, leading WashU in both scoring and rebounding. Homoly was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Blackburn's Savannah Kruse, Ithaca's Grace Cannon and Cassidy O'Malley as well as tournament champion Texas-Dallas' Raenett Hughes and Katie Gunther, who was awarded the Jackie Schapp Most Valuable Player award.
A total of 14 Bears got in on the scoring while sophomore guard Bella Moreno scored a career-high 12 points. Senior guard Caroline Ballard also reached double figures with 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting.
WashU forced Blackburn into 30 turnovers while limiting theirs to 11. The Bears also held a 49-32 rebounding advantage. Four Bears hit multiple shots from beyond the arc including Ballard (2-4), sophomore guard Grace Wardeberg (2-2), Moreno (2-3) and sophomore forward Grace Fortmann (2-5).
The Bears offense took over in the second quarter scoring 25 points to open up a 40-23 advantage after Blackburn stayed within one point in the opening 10 minutes of action. Homoly shot 7-of-10 from the field in the first half, scoring 16 points while corralling seven rebounds.
Freshman guard Isabelle Hren assisted on Ballard's triple and her steal keyed a fast break layup by Ballard with 4:43 to go in the second quarter. The basket capped a 14-4 run helping WashU to a double digit lead, 29-18. Ballard went 2-for-2 from beyond the arc in the first half, scoring eight points.
Freshman forward Samantha Weaver's fast break third quarter layup pushed the Bears lead to 20 following a block by junior center Kristina Schmelter and an outlet pass to senior guard Rachael Sondag who was credited with the assist. Minutes later Weaver blocked a shot, grabbed the defensive rebound and raced the ball up the court before finding Homoly for an open layup giving WashU a 60-28 lead.
The Bears continued to pull away from the Beavers in the third quarter and led 69-29 heading into the fourth. A three pointer by freshman guard Hayley Semple increased the gap to 50 points, 86-36. Sophomore Melissa Claver put the Bears over the triple figure total as she drove to the basket for a potential and-one.
The Red & Green outscored the Beavers 86-29 after the first quarter of play. The Bears shot 56.1-percent (23-41) while holding Blackburn to 26.3-precent (5-19).
WashU will return to action on Saturday, Nov. 24 with its first road game of the season against Rose-Hulman in the Midwest Challenge.