PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Despite erasing an 11-point deficit late in the second half, the Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team fell 55-49 to No. 13/14 nationally-ranked University of Mount Union in the opening game of the 2011 DoubleTree Classic on Friday evening at Skibo Gymnasium on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University.
The Spartans (1-1 overall) return to action tomorrow afternoon for day two of the Radisson Classic versus Elmira College (N.Y.) at 2:00 p.m. The Purple Raiders, ranked No. 13 in the nation by D3Hoops.com and 14th by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association, move to 2-0.
For the game, junior guard Evy Iacono (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mount Notre Dame) scored a game-high 14 points and tied for the game-lead with six rebounds. Senior forward Erin Hollinger (Chardon, Ohio/Chardon) added 10 points and four boards, while junior center Emily Mueller (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair) recorded nine points and six rebounds.
The Purple Raiders led for most of the first half and built a pair of seven-point advantages – the second coming at 15-8 when Kori Wiedt hit a fastbreak jumper at the 10:39 mark. The Spartans chiseled away at the deficit and tied the score at 21 as Mueller hit a layup to cap a 13-6 run with 1:39 left in the half. Each side then took turns with a one-point edge before Mount Union moved ahead 25-24 following a Rosa LaMattina layup with 11 seconds left before intermission.
In the second half, Case scored the first basket – a layup by senior forward Chelsea Peck (Pittsburgh, Pa./Oakland Catholic) -- to move ahead 26-25. Mount Union answered with an 18-6 run and led 43-32 as Wiedt scored on a layup with 10:04 left to play. The Spartans rallied with an 11-0 run to tie the score at 43 as Hollinger hit a layup with 5:11 remaining on the clock. The lead then changed hands five times and Case led for the final time, 49-48, as Iacono hit two free throws at 2:06. The Raiders moved ahead for good two possessions later as LaMattina scored a fastbreak layup to make the score 51-49 with 53 seconds remaining.
LaMattina and Amanda Rose led the Purple Raiders with 12 and 11 points, respectively.