In a battle of two of the top-15 ranked men's basketball programs in Division III, Washington University posted a Sunday afternoon win over Emory in a game played at the Woodruff PE Center. The Bears won for the eighth straight time and raised their overall record to 16-2, 7-0 in the University Athletic Association, following an 84-67 decision over the Eagles who saw their 11-game win streak snapped while dropping to 15-3 overall, 6-1 in the league.
Wash U ended the contest shooting 53.2 percent (33-62) from the floor compared to Emory's 37.0 percent (27-73). The Eagles held a slight edge in three-point shooting, connecting on 36 percent (9-25) from distance vs. WU's 33.3 percent (5-15). The Bears did finish with a 44-37 edge in rebounding.
Senior Adam Gigax led the Emory scoring effort with 18 points, converting seven-of-16 field goals, including four triples in eight attempts. Freshman Romin Williams was the other Eagle to post double-digit scoring with 13 points, hitting five field goals in 11 attempts including a pair of three-point field goals.
Wash U saw five players post double-figure scoring, led by the tandem of Andrew Sanders and Matt Highsmith, with both players tying for game honors with 19 points.
With Highsmith scoring all 19 of his points during the opening 20 minutes of action and the visitors shooting 59.5 percent from the floor, the Bears raced to a 51-33 edge heading into halftime. Highsmith was successful on seven-of-nine from the floor, including four triples in five tries, while WU knocked down 22 of its 37 field goal opportunities. Emory found the mark on just 32.4 percent (12-37) from the field with Gigax shouldering much of the scoring load with 14 points on five-of-eight field goal shooting, four-of-six from beyond the arc. Gigax scored 11 straight Emory points over a 1:45 stretch, nine of which came on three triples, to draw Emory to within three points, 30-27, with 6:34 left in the stanza, but seven straight WU points, ignited by a Highsmith trey, pushed the visitors to a 10-point cushion with 3:42 remaining. A three-pointer by the Eagles' Beau Bommarito cut the gap to eight points with 2:43 on the clock, but WU rattled off a 12-2 blitz over the remainder of the half, capped by a three-pointer by Kevin Kucera at the buzzer to go up by 18 points.
WU kept the pressure on Emory early in the second half, using a 9-2 spurt that the Bears their largest lead of the game, 60-35 with 17:10 remaining. Trailing by 21 points, the Eagles regrouped and scored nine unanswered points, five coming from Williams, to creep to within 12 points with 9:54 on the clock. The Bears eventually built their lead back to 18 points, and held a 76-60 advantage before a triple by Williams followed by a bucket by Gigax narrowed the gap to 11 points with 3:41 on the clock. However, that would be as close as the Eagles would get as WU scored eight of the game's final 10 points. The setback ended Emory's 16-game home court win streak.
Emory returns to action on Friday (Feb. 2) when it plays at the University of Chicago.