Women's hoops loses battle of No. 24 at WashU, 74-56

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – In a battle of teams ranked 24th in the WBCA national polls, the host Washington University Bears rode a hot-shooting first half to defeat visiting Brandeis University, 74-56, in a University Athletic Association contest in the WU Fieldhouse tonight. With the win, the Bears pulled one game in front of the Judges in the UAA race, tied with Rochester and Chicago, both winners tonight.

Brandeis (17-6, 8-4 UAA) saw its three-game winning streak snapped, suffering just their second loss in their last eight games. The 18-point margin of defeat was their largest of the campaign and reversed the outcome of the previous meeting between the two teams. The Judges lost despite 14 points, five rebounds and two assists from senior Jaime Capra (Old Bridge, N.J.). Junior forward Lauren Orlando (Peabody, Mass.) contributed 13 points – 12 in the first half - and six boards. Brandeis connected on just 33.9 percent for the game (21-62), including 19.4% in the second half (6-31).

Washington (17-6, 8-4 UAA) got a double-double performance from sophomore Janice Evans. Evans matched Capra for game-high honors with 14 points and pulled down 13 rebounds, including 11 in the second half, for her second career double-double. Junior guard Shanna-Lei Dacanay and rookie guard Alex Hoover also cracked double figures for the Bears with 10 points each. Dacanay also had a game-high six assists.

Brandeis held just one brief lead in the contest, after an early Jessica Chapin (Mendon, N.Y.) 3-pointer put them ahead 5-4. WashU rookie Kathryn Berger answered with a trifecta of her own and the Bears never trailed again. The key run in the first half came with 7:30 left in the first half. After Capra converted a traditional 3-point play to trim the lead to 30-27, the hosts scored back-to-back trifectas by Halsey Ward and Zoe Unruh to expand the lead back to nine points. The lead bounced between eight and 11 for the rest of the half with the Bears taking a 47-38 advantage into the locker room. WashU shot lights out in the first half, hitting 65.4% from the field (17-26) and 77.8% from beyond the arc (7-9). Washington opened the second half by keeping the Judges off the board for nearly six minutes as their lead expanded to 53-38 on a Hoover free throw.