St. Louis, Mo., Dec. 11, 2018 – The Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team used a strong defensive effort to post an 83-54 victory over Fontbonne University in the Wydown Showdown Tuesday at the WU Field House in St. Louis. The 54 points allowed are the fewest since Jan. 27, 2017 – a 70-47 win at Carnegie Mellon.
WashU won its second-straight game to improve to 6-3, while Fontbonne dropped to 4-4.
The Bears limited Fontbonne to 39.3 percent shooting (22-56), and had a season-high six blocks and 11 steals.
Freshman forward Justin Hardy filled up the stat sheet with 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists, while sophomore guard Jack Nolan had 14 points. Junior guard Jonathan Arenas was also all over the court with a career-high 11 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Junior guard Matt Nester had a career-high nine of the Bears' 26 assists. WashU shot a season-best 56.1 percent (37-66) from the field and tied a school record by not making a free-throw (0-for-3).
The Bears bolted out to a 10-2 lead behind a pair of threes from Hardy and Nolan and forced a 30-second timeout from Fontbonne with 17:31 to play. Nester canned a three-pointer and then junior center Hank Hunter scored on a lay-up to extend the advance to 27-15. WashU hit 12 of its first 19 shots from the field.
Hardy's fast-break dunk highlighted a 9-0 run as the lead grew to 36-19. With less than a minute to play, freshman Kameron Mack swatted away a shot on the defensive end and then canned a three on the ensuing possession to make it 43-26.
WashU led 45-28 at halftime after shooting 54.1 percent (20-37) from the field. The Bears had 14 assists and just three turnovers, and also registered four blocks and four steals. Hardy had 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting.
The lead grew to 21 (56-35) on a dunk by Mack, and then WashU took the 63-41 advantage after a three-pointer by Arenas with 9:14 to play. Mack finished with a career-best nine points on 4-of-7 shooting.
Fontbonne's Luke DeLine led all scorers with 28 points on 6-of-9 three-point shooting. The Griffins committed 20 turnovers in the loss.
WashU has 17 days off before opening a three-game road trip at No. 3-ranked Augustana College (Ill.) on Saturday, Dec. 29, at 7 p.m.
BEAR NOTEBOOK: WashU is 19-1 all-time against Fontbonne, and has won the last 17 meetings … The Bears have outrebounded eight of nine opponents this season … Senior center Marcus Meyer had a career-high four blocks … WashU had a 24-2 advantage in fast-break pointsand 24-8 in points off turnovers.