Strong Spartan Effort Comes Up Just Short against NYU

Strong Spartan Effort Comes Up Just Short against NYU

Case Western Reserve University junior forward Hillary Hellmann and sophomore guard Kendall McConico led the Spartans on Sunday afternoon with 23 and 20 points, respectively, but a strong effort by CWRU overall came up just short in a 67-62 loss to New York University at Adelbert Gymnasium on Sunday afternoon.

Hellmann shot 10-of-19 overall and three-of-eight from behind the three-point line for her team-leading 23-point effort, while adding seven rebounds in the game.  McConico made six-of-nine shots from the floor and converted eight-of-12 free throws, and collected a team-leading eight rebounds and four assists during Sunday's effort.

McConico paced the Spartans during the first quarter, scoring eight points during the opening frame of play.  With the game tied 10-10 at the 5:43 mark in the opening stanza, NYU's Kaitlyn Read made back-to-back threes to give the Violets a six-point lead.  The Spartans trimmed the lead back down to two points on a pair of jumpers by Hellmann, and ended the period trailing by four, 20-16.  Hellmann began to percolate in the second quarter, scoring seven-straight points for the Spartans over two minute stretch to put the team back out in front, and a three by freshman guard Jasmine Floyd capped off a 10-0 run and gave CWRU a four-point lead, 28-24 with 3:35 remaining in the period.  A layup by freshman guard Emily Todd helped CWRU maintain a four-point advantage with 1:39 to go in the half, but NYU scored the final four points of the period, tying the game at 30-30 heading into the break.

The Spartans shot a red-hot 57.1% from the floor (12-of-21) during the opening half of play, and were led by Hellmann's 11 points, and 10 from McConico.

Case Western Reserve opened the second half on a 6-0 run with an and-one from McConico and a three-pointer from Hellmann to take their largest lead of the game to that point.  The Spartans led by as many as seven points during the quarter, taking a 43-36 advantage on a three-pointer by Hellmann with 5:40 remaining in the third, and would hold the lead for the rest of the quarter, carrying a 49-47 edge going into the fourth period.

The Spartans continued to lead until the 7:45 mark, when NYU tied the game at 51-51.  The game was tied at 53-53 with 5:05 to go, when NYU's Reed made a three pointer and was fouled after, converting a four-point play.  The Violets opened a seven-point lead, 60-53, on a successful and-one by Kayla Patterson with 4:37 to go in the game. The Spartans would not go away, cutting it to a one-possession game on a jumper by Hellmann that made the score 65-62 with 48 seconds to play.  An NYU turnover gave the Spartans the ball back with 24 seconds to play, but a three-point attempt to tie the game by Hellmann with 4.8 seconds left bounced off the back of the rim, allowing NYU to hold on for the win.

Case Western Reserve finished the game shooting a season-high 56.4% from the floor (22-of-39), while making four of their 11 three-point tries (36.4%).

The loss dropped the Spartans to 4-15 overall on the year and to 1-8 in UAA games, while NYU improved to 12-8 overall and 5-4 in the conference.

Read finished the game with 30 points, nine rebounds and four steals to lead NYU.  Patterson added 16 points and five rebounds in the game for the Violets.

Case Western Reserve will be back in Horsburgh Gymnasium next weekend for the team's final home games of the 2017-18 campaign.  The Spartans are slated to host the 11th-ranked University of Rochester on Friday, February 9th at 6:00 p.m., and Emory University on Sunday, February 11th at 1:00 p.m.