Centre upsets Washington-St. Louis
Colonels advance to round of 16 for first time since 2001
DANVILLE, Ky. -- On the strength of two late Chelsea Benham free throws and two final defensive stops, Centre defeated No. 9 Washington-St. Louis 57-55 in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
The Colonels move on to the round of 16 for the first time since 2001 where they will face Carthage, a 53-48 winner against DePauw.
After a back-and-forth contest, Benham, a junior forward, scored six of the Colonels' final eight points to help erase a 53-49 deficit. Benham and Maggie Prewitt each made free throws to tie the game with 1:33 to go, then Benham answered free throws by Washington's Melissa Gilkey with a turnaround jumper to tie the score at 55 with 58 seconds left.
After a Washington miss and rebound, Centre's Bridget Winstead came up with a steal. Benham was fouled with 14.1 seconds left and buried both free throws to give her team the lead for good.
When the Bears tried to answer, Lauren Huter blocked a Schleppers attempt for a layup, and Benham came out of a scramble on the floor with the rebound. Though Centre gave Washington one final chance with an offensive foul, a 3-pointer by Dani Hoover from the right corner sailed long, giving the Colonels the victory.
Prewitt led all scorers with 21 points while Benham added 12 and a team-high eight rebounds. Gilkey had 13 points and 12 rebounds for Washington while Schleppers contributed 12 points and 12 boards.
Centre won the game despite struggling from the field, shooting 29.8 percent (17-of-57) to Washington's 35.1 percent (20-of-57). The Colonels did make 31.6 percent (6-of-19) of their 3-pointers to Washington's 21.4 percent (3-of-14). Washington held a 42-36 rebounding edge while turning the ball over 13 times to Centre's 10.