Bears Surge Past Carnegie Mellon Behind WashU Seniors

Photo by Marco Quaroni
Photo by Marco Quaroni

St. Louis, Mo., Jan. 25, 2019 – Senior guard Rachael Sondag recorded a season-high 20 points and moved within three three-pointers of the all-time Bears record as the Washington University in St. Louis women's basketball team defeated Carnegie Mellon University 87-64 on Friday evening in the WU Field House for the Bears seventh straight victory.

WashU improved to 12-5 overall, with a 6-0 mark against University Athletic Association (UAA) opponents. Carnegie Mellon fell to 10-7, and 1-5 in the UAA. WashU held the Tartans to 31.6 percent shooting from the field (25-79) while hitting 50 percent of its own shots (33-66). The Bears also collected season-high 52 rebounds compared the CMU's 40 boards.

Sondag totaled a team-high 20 points, including 6-of-9 from three-point range. Senior forward Madeline Homoly (19), senior forward Stephanie Botkin (13) and senior guard Caroline Ballard (11) also reached double figures in scoring. The Bears held a 28-18 advantage in assists with senior guard Becca Clark-Callender totaling a game-high 10 for the second straight contest. Senior guard Katie Claussner totaled a career-high seven assists.

Sondag currently sits in second place all-time in career triples. After hitting a season-high six, she is three behind Kelly Manning (2002-06) with 189 career treys. Homoly ranks ninth all-time in Bears scoring with 1,151 points, bypassing Kathryn Berger (1,144: 2007-11). Clark-Callender is eighth in career assists with 309. She passed Debby Braun (300: 1983-86) and Emily Harold (304: 1996-00).

Clark-Callender recorded her 300th assist and Homoly started 3-of-3 from the field in the first four minutes of play to take an 8-5 lead. Ballard scored five points off the bench, including a trey and two free-throws. WashU held a 16-13 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

The Bears opened the second quarter with patience on their opening possession. WashU used nearly the entire shot clock before Sondag found Homoly for a mid-range jumper. The Red & Green forced a timeout by Carnegie Mellon with 6:50 to go in the half with a 7-2 run to start the second quarter.

WashU extended the lead to 14 points on a triple by Ballard, 38-24, with 3:43 to go on the clock. Claussner assisted on the play and led WashU with four assists in the half. The Bears led 38-26 at the half, as Homoly led all players with 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the field. Ballard was a perfect 3-of-3 from beyond the arc and pitched in 11 points off the bench.

Clark-Callender assisted on three consecutive baskets to help propel the Bears to a 24 point lead, including back-to-back buckets by Sondag. Clark-Callender pushed up the leaderboard to eighth all-time in career assists in program history with her sixth dish of the game. WashU held a 66-45 advantage after three quarters.

WashU outscored CMU 28-19 in the third quarter and continued to extend the lead in the fourth quarter. The Bears finished the fourth quarter with a 21-19 edge, beating the Tartans 87-64.

Leah Weslock led the Tartans with 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting while Emily Archer added 16 off the bench.

WashU returns to action Sunday, Jan. 27 at 2 p.m. against Case Western Reserve University. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.