Sports update March 5: Basketball teams fall in NCAA second round

The No. 19 men’s basketball team saw its season come to an end with a 72-68 loss to No. 23 North Central College in the second round of the NCAA Division III Championship March 3 at the WU Field House.

WUSTL concludes its season with a 20-7 overall record, while North Central improves to 22-7. The Bears rolled past Buena Vista University, 71-59, March 2 in first round action.

Seniors Dylan Richter, Jake Seymour and Alex Toth conclude their career with an 86-24 (.782) overall record. The Class of 2012 made three NCAA tournament appearances, won two University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships (2009, 2012) and captured the 2009 NCAA Division III Championship.

Women’s basketball loses in second round, too

The No. 9 women’s basketball team saw its season come to an end with a tough 57-55 loss at No. 22 Centre College in the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament March 3 in Danville, Ky.

The Bears led 32-20 at halftime, but Centre rallied in the second half and made two free throws with 14.1 seconds left to pull out the win.

After a two-hour and 45-minute delay due to severe weather March 2, the Bears shut down the second-best Div. III shooting team to earn a 79-64 first-round win over Ferrum College. WUSTL limited the Panthers to just 35.2 percent (25-of-71) from the field in the game.

The WUSTL women ended the season with a 21-6 record after earning their 23rd-straight berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament. The Bears’ four seniors – Dani Hoover, Brianne Monahan, Bethany Morrison and Claire Schaeperkoetter – finished their WUSTL careers with an overall record of 101-19.

Baseball team picks up five wins in one week

The baseball team picked up five wins last week, including two each over No. 13 College of St. Scholastica and No. 16 Buena Vista University over the weekend.

The Bears rallied with four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to earn a 6-5 win over Greenville College on Tuesday. After falling behind 1-0 in the top of the first inning against No. 16 Buena Vista University, WUSTL sent 14 batters to the plate and scored nine runs on eight hits and three errors in the bottom of the inning to break the game open with a 9-1 lead. Buena Vista cut the lead to 11-8 in the top of the fifth inning, but the Bears scored 10 runs, including eight unearned, in the next three innings to get the 21-8 win.

On March 3, the Bears rallied from an 8-3 deficit against No. 13 St. Scholastica and junior David Madson doubled down the right-field line with two outs and the bases loaded to break the 8-8 tie and propel WUSTL to its third-straight win. The Bears completed their weekend sweeps of St. Scholastica and Buena Vista March 4.

WUSTL earned a 14-10 win over BVU in a game that was continued from Saturday evening. The Bears scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh to turn a 9-9 tie into a 14-9 lead before Buena Vista scored a run in the top of the eight to make the final score 14-10.

In their final game of the weekend, the Bears took a 7-4 lead into the seventh inning, and played solid defense in the final three innings to earn the 7-5 win. WUSTL returns to action against Fontbonne University at 3 p.m. March 6, before hosting Westminster College at 3 p.m. March 7 at Kelly Field.

Women’s tennis finishes fourth at ITA Championship

The No. 14 women’s tennis team opened the 2012 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Championship with an upset win over No. 6 Denison University March 2.

WUSTL won 2-of-3 doubles matches, then won four-straight singles matches to pick up the 6-3 upset win in the ITA quarterfinals. The Bears suffered their first defeat of the season with a 9-0 loss to No. 13 Carnegie Mellon University in the semifinals, before finishing fourth at the ITA Championship with a 7-2 setback against No. 16 DePauw University March 4.

WUSTL will host its first home match of the season at 3:30 p.m. March 6 against Ferris State University at the Tao Tennis Center.

Softball opens with four wins

The softball team opened the 2012 with four wins at the Warrior Spring Fling on March 3 and 4 in Conway, Ark.

The Bears swept games with host Hendrix College (13-9, 15-6) and Spalding University (7-3, 12-0) during the three-team round robin tournament.

WUSTL scored 47 runs and had 62 hits in the four games. Junior Sondra Polonsky hit a team-best .625 (10-for-16) with six runs scored, while freshman Adrienne White batted .588 (10-for-17) with a team-high nine RBIs. Senior pitcher Olivia Cook posted a 3-0 record on the mound with a 2.17 earned run average, while sophomore pitcher Kelsey Neal also picked up a win in the circle.

WUSTL (4-0) begins a 12-game road trip to Florida with a pair of games on Saturday, March 10, against John Carroll University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at the NTC Games.

Swimming and diving qualifies four for NCAA championship

The swimming and diving teams will have four athletes competing at the 2012 NCAA Division III Championships March 21-24 in Indianapolis.

Freshmen Luke Dobben and Zane Turpin both qualified in the men’s 1,650-yard freestyle, while junior Brendan Morin qualified in men’s the 100 butterfly.

Freshman Sara Taege was the lone qualifier for the WUSTL women, as she earned a qualifying spot in the women’s 400 individual medley. All four student-athletes will compete in two additional events as well.

Indoor track competes at North Central Last Chance Meet

Seniors Elizabeth Phillips and Erica Jackey both broke the school record in the women’s mile to highlight the track & field team’s performances at the North Central College Last Chance Meet March 3.

Phillips won the women’s mile by breaking her own school record with a time of 4:54.15, edging Jackey who finished in a time of 4:54.16. Both times were better than Phillips’ previous school record of 4:55.32 set in 2010. The times also put Phillips and Jackey in third and fourth in NCAA Division III this season.

Senior Tyler Jackson and sophomore Jasmine Williams both earned first-place finishes as well. Jackson won the men’s 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.26 seconds, while Williams tied for first in the women’s high jump with a clearance of 1.66 meters.

Senior Amanda Matheson finished fifth in the women’s pentathlon with a personal-best score of 3,019. Her point total was the second-best all-time at WUSTL, ranking only behind Alli Alberts’ school-record of 3,245.

Seven student-athletes have qualified to represent WUSTL at the 2012 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships March 9-10 in Grinnell, Iowa: seniors Erica Jackey (women’s mile, distance medley relay), Tyler Jackson (men’s 60-meter hurdles), and Elizabeth Phillips (women’s mile, distance medley relay); sophomores Anna Etherington (women’s pole vault), Shannon Howell (women’s distance medley relay), and Jasmine Williams (women’s high jump); and freshman Lucy Cheadle (women’s 5,000 meters, distance medley relay).