The No. 11 women’s basketball team clinched the University Athletic Association (UAA) championship, picking up the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament with a pair of victories last weekend.
Four players scored in double figures as the Bears defeated Carnegie Mellon University 78-58 Feb. 20. Senior Jaimie McFarlin led WUSTL with 16 points and nine rebounds, with junior Janice Evans (12 points), freshman Alex Hoover (12) and senior Halsey Ward (10) also scoring in double figures.
Against No. 6 University of Rochester Feb. 22, Evans led all scorers with 19 points as WUSTL secured a 65-52 win and the UAA championship. For the week, she averaged 15.5 points per game.
The Bears will be making their 20th consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament and head coach Nancy Fahey tallied 20 wins in a season for the 19th time in her WUSTL career.
WUSTL (20-4, 12-1 UAA) will conclude its regular season schedule at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, at home against the University of Chicago.
Men’s basketball splits home games
The No. 2 men’s basketball team had its 13-game winning streak snapped with a 70-69 setback to the visiting University of Rochester Feb. 22, leaving coach Mark Edwards one win shy of 500 in his career.
Junior Aaron Thompson led WUSTL with 20 points and became the 18th player in school history to score 1,000 career points. Senior Sean Wallis (18 points), senior Tyler Nading (11) and sophomore Caleb Knepper (10) also scored in double figures.
Nading poured in a season-high 29 points to lead the Bears to a 77-63 victory over No. 25 Carnegie Mellon University Feb. 20. Wallis (15 points) and Thompson (13) also scored in double figures.
WUSTL (22-2, 12-1 UAA) ends regular-season play at home at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, against the University of Chicago. The team will honor its two seniors, Nading and Wallis, who will be playing their final regular-season game at the WU Field House.
Swimmers get one last chance to qualify
The men’s and women’s swimming teams sent select members to the Midwest Invitational Meet Feb. 20-21 in Chicago with the aim of setting their final NCAA Division III championship qualifying times of the year.
Junior Brian Kushner and Dima Galkin made the trip for the men’s team, swimming freestyle and breaststroke events. Kushner won the 500-yard freestyle with an NCAA “B” cut time of 4:34.67, and he later went on to improve on that mark in a time trial, finishing in 4:34.60. He cut .56 seconds off his previous season-best time in the event. Galkin swept the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke races. His first-place time of 58.52 in the 100-breaststroke was good enough to be an NCAA “B” cut, but it was not his top mark of the year.
On the women’s side, sophomores Claire Henderson and Karin Underwood respectively swam the 100- and 200-yard backstroke. Henderson ranked second in the 100-backstroke with a time of 1:00.83, and she swam a 59.57 in a 100-back time trial, but the provisional cut was not a season-best. Underwood won the 200-backstroke in 2:07.26, also an NCAA “B” cut but not a personal- best time.
The 2009 NCAA Division III men’s and women’s championships will be held March 18-21 in Minneapolis. The field will be announced March 6.
Track teams split up to compete
The men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams split up last week to compete at the Illinois College Alumni Classic Feb. 20 in Jacksonville, Ill., and the Wartburg Invitational Feb. 21 in Waverly, Iowa.
The pole-vaulters and long jumper made the trip to Illinois College. For the women, freshman Katie Hered won the pole vault with a season-best height of 3.46 meters. Sophomore Scott Petit placed first for the men in the pole vault, with a new personal-best height of 4.42 meters.
At Wartburg, freshman Elizabeth Phillips won the mile run with an NCAA provisional time and new school record of 4:57.86, a mark that ranks eighth in the nation. Senior Danielle Wadlington had a pair of NCAA provisional marks, placing first in the triple jump (11.54 meters) and second in the 55-meter hurdles (8.51).
The next meet for both teams is March 6-7 at the University Athletic Association (UAA) championships in New York.
Men’s tennis finishes second in tourney
The top-ranked men’s tennis team dropped a 6-3 decision to No. 2 Emory University in the championship match of the 2009 Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Team Indoor Championships Feb. 22.
WUSTL posted victories over No. 12 Trinity University in the first round and No. 8 Kenyon College in the semifinal. Junior John Watts notched a 6-0 record in the Bears’ three matches, including two singles victories over top 15 opponents.
WUSTL (3-2) opens its spring break trip in California March 11 against No. 11 Bowdoin College.