Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

New Approach, Same Success for Washington U. Women

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

New Approach, Same Success for Washington U. Women

Article excerpt

Washington University recently found itself trailing by 14 points with less than 10 minutes remaining in a game against Carnegie Mellon, a moment that would not have been noteworthy except for the opponent.

Coach Nancy Fahey's women's basketball team hadn't lost to Carnegie Mellon in a while 45 games and 23 years to be exact.

As it turned out, their second regular-season meeting of 2015-16 wasn't going to be the moment the Tartans ended the drought against the Bears, who compete against each other in the University Athletic Association.

But they will get another shot at No. 10 Washington University on Friday in the Sweet 16 of the Division III NCAA Tournament in Crestview Hills, Ky.

"We had to find a way to win, and we did," Fahey said. "I heard about the (streak) just yesterday. I told the team this is not a UAA game, it's a Sweet 16 game and we're approaching it that way. We have three teams from our conference in the Sweet 16 and I'm not surprised at all."

Washington University (22-5) finished the recent game on a 19-2 run for a 57-54 win to extend the streak to 46 wins. The last time the Bears lost to the Tartans was in 1993 and they are 53-3 in the all-time series. But they have never met in the tournament and this time Carnegie Mellon is ranked No. 25.

If the Bears win again, they would likely meet Thomas More, which enters its game on Friday ranked No. 1 and undefeated after winning the 2015 national championship.

Washington University is making its 28th NCAA Tournament appearance and already has extended its D-III record victory total to 67.

Fahey's team has reached this point by employing a strategy that is not completely comfortable for the 30-year coach. After assessing her team in the offseason and recognizing an abundance of speed, she decided the 2015-16 Bears would be a pressing team.

She turned to instructional DVDs and coaches whose teams press to construct the best approach. …

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