Women’s Basketball Hits Flurry of Threes to Power 94-66 Victory

Photo by Kevin Lanke
Photo by Kevin Lanke

St. Louis, Mo., Dec. 11, 2018 – The Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team hit a barrage of three-pointers in the third quarter to power itself to a 94-66 victory over Fontbonne University Tuesday evening during the Wydown Showdown in the WU Field House.

WashU improved to 5-3 on the season while Fontbonne fell to 3-5 overall. The Bears hit a season-high 14 three-pointers, two off the school record set last season against Brandeis University (2/9/18). WashU also outscored the Griffins 18-0 on fast break points and held a 26 to 13 advantage in assists.

Sophomore guard Grace Fortmann poured in a career-high 22 points in her first collegiate start on 6-of-9 shooting, including a career-high five three-pointers. Freshman guard Hayley Semple led the Bears with six assists in her first start as well. Senior forward Madeline Homoly recorded her third straight double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

The Red & Green rode the hot hand of senior guard Rachael Sondag who helped erase a two-point halftime deficit to a 23-point lead after three quarters. She scored 11 of the Bears 14 points to start the third, while WashU totaled eight triples in the third outscoring the Griffins 36-11.

WashU continued to stretch the lead in the fourth quarter. The Bears bench outscored Fontbonne's 16-6 in the final 10 minutes of play. Senior guard Katie Claussner paced the attack in the fourth with three assists.

The Griffins struck first in their opening possession of the game with a three-pointer but WashU quickly answered back with a fast break layup by Sondag, assisted by senior guard Becca Clark-Callender. About a minute later the Bears evened the score on a triple by Fortmann on the dish by Sondag.

WashU took the lead on a trey by freshman guard Isabelle Hren with 7:20 to go in the first quarter, but Fontbonne continued to fight back. The Bears and Griffins traded leads seven times in the opening quarter as WashU led 22-18 after 10 minutes of play. The Bears closed out the quarter on an 8-4 run with senior forward Stephanie Botkin ended the scoring with a free-throw.

The Griffins opened the second quarter with seven straight unanswered points and led 25-22 with 7:10 remaining in the half. A Botkin three with 4:17 to go assisted by Semple closed the gap within three before Homoly trimmed the lead within one, 33-32, on a lay-in assisted by senior guard Caroline Ballard. The Griffins held a 36-34 edge after the second quarter concluded.

Sondag evened the score right away in the third quarter with an opening drive down the center lane. The Griffins unfazed hit a triple to retake the lead but Fortmann hit a corner trey to even the score back up. Sondag hit back-to-back triples from the top of the arc before another three from the wing to give WashU a 48-41 edge.

Seven three-pointers in the first five minutes of the second half led the Bears to a 59-43 advantage. Joining the Bears three-point barrage was Botkin and Semple. Ballard also hit a triple moments later as WashU quickly spun a two-point deficit to a 23-point lead. The Bears led 70-47 after three quarters.

Also reaching double figures in scoring for the Bears were Botkin with 14 off the bench and Sondag with 13. WashU shot a season-high 57.4-percent from the field (35-61), including 73.3-percent in the second half (22-30). The Bears defense held Fontbonne to 37.7-percent shooting from the field and into 20 turnovers, including four shot clock violations.

The Griffins were led by Rylee Stafford with 23 points and 10 rebounds. The Griffins leading scorer on the season Raven Venegas scored 14 points.

WashU will host Loras College on Sunday, Dec. 16 at 2 p.m. Be sure stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.