Sports updates Feb. 21

Home wins boost women’s basketball to 20-4

The No. 9 women’s basketball team improved to 20-4 and bolstered its changes of earning an at-large bid to the 2011 NCAA tournament with a pair of home victories last weekend.

Senior point guard Alex Hoover scored 11 points and dished out eight assists in a 68-50 win over New York University Feb. 18, and senior Kathryn Berger scored 19 points with three 3-pointers as the Bears defeated Brandeis University 79-47 Feb. 20.

Head coach Nancy Fahey has now won at least 20 games in 21 of her 25 seasons at WUSTL, which includes 14 of her last 15 campaigns. Fahey is 591-104 (.850) in 25 seasons on the Danforth Campus.

WUSTL (20-4, 12-2 University Athletic Association) will play its regular season finale at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, against No. 8 University of Chicago at the Washington University Field House. Prior to the game, the Bears will honor their six members of the Class of 2011, who will be playing in the final home game of their careers.

Men’s tennis second at indoor championship

No. 4 Emory University rallied from a 2-0 deficit to claim the 2011 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Indoor Championship with a 6-3 victory over WUSTL Feb. 20 in Fredericksburg, Va.

After taking a 2-1 lead after doubles play, the Eagles ran off five-straight singles matches to win its second ITA national championship in the last three years. Sophomore Kareem Farah posted the lone victory for the Bears in singles, a 6-7 (2-7), 6-2, 10-8 win at No. 6.

WUSTL advanced to the championship match with an 8-1 victory over No. 9 North Carolina Wesleyan Feb. 18 and a 5-4 win over No. 5 University of California-Santa Cruz Feb. 19.

Farah went a combined 6-0 over the weekend, picking up three doubles victories with junior Cameron Chiang at No. 2 doubles and three wins at No. 6 singles.

WUSTL (4-2) returns to the court Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25 and 26, at the Principia College Tournament in Elsah, Ill.

Men’s basketball secures 27th consecutive winning season

The Bears secured a winning season for the 27th consecutive year with a pair of home victories over New York University and Brandeis University last weekend.

Junior Dylan Richter and senior Spencer Gay each recorded a double-double as the Bears erased an 11-point second-half deficit on its way to a 67-61 victory over New York University Feb. 18. Richter scored 20 points to go along with a career-high 16 rebounds on the way to his first-career double-double while Gay scored 18 points and pulled down 11 boards.

Senior Caleb Knepper poured in a career-high 28 points on 8-of-12 shooting from three-point range to lead the Bears to a 77-75 victory over Brandeis Feb. 20. Richter scored 21 points with four assists and Gay scored 13 points with seven assists; Gay has scored in double figures in 22-of-24 games played this season. WUSTL shot 50.9 percent for the game and 45.5 percent (10-of-22) from three-point range in the win.

WUSTL closes out the 2010-11 season at home at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, against the University of Chicago. Prior to the contest, the Bears will honor four seniors who will be playing their final game in the Red and Green: Gay, Isaiah Honick, Knepper and Brett Sapp.

Swimming & diving competes at 2011 UAA Championships

The women’s swimming & diving team finished in fourth place out of seven schools while the WUSTL men’s team placed fifth as the 2011 University Athletic Association (UAA) Swimming & Diving Championships drew to a close Feb. 19 in Rochester, N.Y.

The women’s team had a three-day tally of 1,106 points, finishing just four points behind third-place Carnegie Mellon University. The men’s squad accrued 1,048 points. Emory University won both the men’s and women’s team championships.

Freshman Chi Pham wrapped up her incredible UAA championship meet by being named the 2011 UAA Women’s Rookie of the Year. She is the fourth women’s student-athlete in school history to earn Rookie of the Year honors and the first to do so since teammate Karina Stridh in 2009.

Pham set two NCAA automatic qualifying marks earlier in the meet and added two more NCAA “B” cuts to her three day haul during Saturday night’s final session. She placed fourth in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:23.12 and swam with Stridh, junior Amy Vanlishout and freshman Alison Siegel on the Bears’ fourth-place 400-freestyle relay team.

Men’s senior David Chao concluded his strong meet with a victory in the 100-yard freestyle (45.53), marking the first time in his career he captured the UAA title in the 100-free.

The official selections for the 2011 NCAA Championships will be posted on Tuesday, March 8 at

Indoor track teams in final warm-up before conference championships

The men’s and women’s indoor track & field teams sent athletes to two competitions Feb. 18, the North Central College Cardinal Classic in Naperville, Ill., and the Illinois College Alumni Classic in Jacksonville, Ill.

The meets marked the final warm-up for the two squads before University Athletic Association (UAA) Indoor Track and Field Championships Feb. 26 and 27 at the University of Chicago.

Junior Liz Phillips highlighted the WUSTL performances at North Central College, winning the mile run with an NCAA Division III championship provisional qualifying time of 4:56.57. The run currently ranks sixth among all mile times submitted in Division III this season.

In men’s competition at North Central College, junior Paul Garcia was the runner-up in the mile with a strong time of 4:17.29, while junior Matt Rickard finished third in the 800-meter run (1:58.39).

Junior Erica Jackey and junior Dan Davis each set a new school record at the Illinois College meet. Jackey won the 1,000-meter with a WUSTL record-breaking time of 3:01.70, while Davis won the 60-meter hurdles with a mark of 8.28, breaking the school record of 8.32 he and teammate Tyler Jackson each set earlier this year.

Women’s tennis falls to U. Chicago

The No. 16 women’s tennis team fell to fourth-ranked University of Chicago, 8-1, on Feb. 19 at the Kings Point Racquet Club in Belleville, Ill.

The Bears trailed Chicago 3-0 after doubles action but played the Maroons close at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. Freshman Evelyn Qin and freshman Betsy Edershile fell to Carmen Vaca Guzman and Linden Li, 8-4, at second doubles and senior Elise Sambol and freshman Theresa Petraskova lost to Jennifer Kung and Aswini Krishnan, 8-4, in the No. 3 match.

Sambol picked up the Bears’ only singles win by defeating Tiffany Nguyen in straight sets, 6-3, 6-0, in the No. 6 position. Junior Natalie Tingir took Kung to three sets in the No. 2 singles match, but fell 6-1, 4-6, 6-3. Playing at No. 5 Petraskova lost a hard fought contest to Chrissy Hu, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3), and Edershile fell to Vaca Guzman 6-4, 6-4 at No. 3 singles.

WUSTL (1-1) returns to action at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, when it hosts the University of Southern Indiana in St. Charles, Mo.