Kein Stiner, Assistant Sports Information Director
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Senior guard Rachael Sondag’s powerful third quarter helped propel No. 21-ranked Washington University in St. Louis women’s basketball past University of Rochester 61-53 Sunday afternoon in the Louis Alexander Palestra.
WashU improved its record to 16-6 and 10-1 in the University Athletic Association (UAA), while dropping Rochester to 9-13 overall and 3-8 in the UAA. After failing to convert a three-pointer in the first half, Sondag scored 13 of her 17 points in the third quarter including 3-of-3 from beyond the arc. The Bears outscored Rochester 14-0 on fast break points.
Senior forward Madeline Homoly led the Bears in points and rebounds, recording her seventh double-double of the season with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Senior guard Becca Clark-Callenderl ed the Bears with six assists while senior guard Caroline Ballard and freshman guard Isabelle Hren totaled two blocks apiece. WashU recorded six blocks which is the most the Bears have posted against a UAA opponent all season.
Neither WashU or Rochester were able to get much going early on as it took nearly three minutes before the first basket of the game. Freshman guard Hayley Semple put the Bears ahead 2-0 with 7:07 to go on the clock in the first quarter, but the Yellowjackets hit a variety of three-pointers in the closing minutes of the quarter to take a 14-9 advantage.
Rochester hit a trey early in the second quarter as freshman forward Samantha Weaver hit back-to-back baskets for the Bears to keep them within six points. The Yellowjackets took a 10-point advantage, 27-17 on their seventh three-pointer of the half with 4:21 to go. WashU held Rochester without a basket in the remaining time while a trio of baskets by Clark-Callender cut the Yellowjacket lead to two points at the half, 27-25.
Homoly led the Bears with eight points while Clark-Callender added six as both teams shot nearly identical from the field. Rochester held a slight advantage hitting 35.7 percent while WashU connected on 34.5 percent, but the Yellowjackets had seven three-pointers to zero by the Bears.
Sondag quickly put the Bears ahead in the third quarter with WashU’s first triple. Homoly helped WashU to a three-point lead on its next possession, 30-27, with a layup. Clark-Callender led Semple up the court for a fast break basket which gave the Bears a five-point lead before Sondag hit another three to force a Rochester timeout. Sondag continued to hit shots for WashU and totaled 13 points in the quarter as WashU claimed a 51-43 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Rochester rallied to within five points with six minutes to play in the fourth quarter on a three-pointer by Tessa Ludwick. Following the three-pointer, WashU led 53-48 and the Bears responded by holding the Yellowjackets to five points the remainder of the game which included a last second triple.
Ludwick was Rochester’s leading scorer with 13 points while Lena Ethington also reached double figures with 10 points. Ethington finished the game with a team-leading nine rebounds.
WashU returns home to host New York University on Friday, Feb. 15 at 6 p.m. during Eliot Night which is designated as a #RedOut. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.