Sports update Dec. 10: Women’s basketball adds two wins

The No. 5 women’s basketball team improved to 6-1 with a pair of wins over Millikin University (71-42) and Augustana College (74-61) last week.

The Bears shot 46.8 percent from the field and pulled down 53 rebounds to beat Millikin at home Dec. 5. Sophomore forward Melissa Gilkey notched a double-double of 17 points and 12 rebounds to lead WUSTL, while freshman guard Jordan Thompson added 14 points and sophomore guard Maddy Scheppers finished with 12 points and seven rebounds.

WUSTL shot a season-high 78.8 percent from the free-throw line (26-of-33) to earn the win at Augustana Saturday. Gilkey and Scheppers each finished with double-doubles to lead five Bears scoring in double figures. Gilkey had 15 points and a season-high 13 rebounds, while Scheppers added 12 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore guard Alyssa Johanson scored 14 points, and junior forward Jordan Rettig and senior forward Kristin Anda finished with 11 points each.

The Bears host a pair of games this week, beginning with a 7 p.m. contest against Fontbonne University Wednesday. WUSTL then hosts Spalding University at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at the Field House.

Men’s basketball suffers first loss of season at No. 22 Wheaton
The No. 6 men’s basketball team suffered its first loss of the season in a 66-64 defeat at No. 22 Wheaton College Saturday in Wheaton, Ill.

Junior Tyler Peters buried a turn-around jump shot at the buzzer as Wheaton improved to 8-0 and remained unbeaten on the season. WUSTL suffered its first loss of the year and dropped to 8-1.

Sophomore forward Matt Palucki led the Bears with his second double-double of the season and third of his career with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Junior forward Chris Klimek added 14 points and eight rebounds, while senior center Robert Burnett (11) and sophomore forward Nick Burt (10) also scored in double figures for WUSTL in the loss. The 10 points for Burt was a career high.

WUSTL shot 45.8 percent (22-48) from the field for the game, including 54.5 percent (12-22) in the second half, and outrebound Wheaton 40-25.

The Bears opened the week with a 72-49 win at Webster University Wednesday at Grant Gymnasium. Junior guard Alan Aboona led all scorers with 12 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, while Burnett added 10 points and seven rebounds. The Bears have outrebounded eight of nine opponents this season and are second in Division III with a +15.9 rebound margin.

The Bears return to action Saturday, Dec. 15, at home against Elmhurst College. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at the Field House.

WUSTL Athletics in 10th place in Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup fall standings
The Department of Athletics sits in 10th place in the 2012-13 Division III Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup fall standings.

Washington University totaled 237 points in the fall season, and trails first-place Calvin College by 71.5 points. Middlebury College (306.5 points), Emory University (280 points), Williams College (277.5) and Messiah College (253 points) round out the top five.

The Bears earned their top-10 standing by scoring in four of the six championships conducted to date. WUSTL had three top-10 finishes in the fall, highlighted by a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championship by men’s cross country and a quarterfinal appearance by women’s soccer. In addition, the volleyball team advanced to the Sectional Championship to tie for ninth place.

The final Division III fall standings will be released Wednesday, Dec. 19.

Jim Conlon tabbed as NSCAA Central Region Coach of the Year
Women’s soccer coach Jim Conlon was named the 2012 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Division III Central Region Women’s Soccer Coach of the Year.

Conlon guided Washington University to a school record 19-2-1 overall mark, and advanced to the NCAA Division III Quarterfinals for the sixth time in school history. The Bears also won their eighth University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship with a 6-0-1 record. WUSTL was ranked No. 5 in the final NSCAA/Continental Tire Postseason Top-25 Poll.

Conlon also mentored sophomore forward Anna Zambricki, who earned NSCAA/Continental Tire First-Team All-America honors. Zambricki is the ninth All-American in school history. He also had five players earn NSCAA/Continental Tire All-Central Region and six student-athletes named to the all-UAA team in 2012.

In five seasons on the Danforth Campus, Conlon has led Washington University to an 80-23-8 (.757) overall record, three UAA championships and five trips to the NCAA Tournament. He also guided the 2009 team to the Final Four and an appearance in the national championship game.

Conlon will be recognized at the annual All-America Luncheon, to be held Saturday, Jan. 19, in conjunction with the 2013 NSCAA Convention in Indianapolis. The National Coach of the Year will be announced in mid-January.