CLEVELAND, Ohio – Senior forward Chelsea Peck (Pittsburgh, Pa./Oakland Catholic) totaled career-highs of 14 points and nine rebounds, but the Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team dropped a back-and-forth battle with visiting Kenyon College by a score of 68-63 on Saturday afternoon in the opening game of the 2011 University Athletic Association/North Coast Athletic Conference Challenge at Horsburgh Gymnasium.
The Spartans drop to 2-3 on the young season and will look to right the ship tomorrow afternoon versus No. 12/16 nationally-ranked Denison University at 4:00 p.m. Kenyon improves to 3-2 and will play at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday versus Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.).
In addition to Peck's near double-double, junior guard Evy Iacono (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mount Notre Dame) totaled 15 points, six rebounds and four assists, while senior forward Erin Hollinger (Chardon, Ohio/Chardon) added 13 points and five boards.
Morgan Korinek led Kenyon with a game-high 29 points and nine rebounds.
The first half saw nine lead changes and three ties, with Case holding the advantage for a majority of the period. The Spartans moved ahead 18-12 at the 9:47 mark when freshman guard Amanda Germer (Malvern, Pa./Great Valley) hit a layup to put her team ahead by six. Kenyon came back with a 7-0 run and led 19-18 when Kayla Ernst scored on a layup with 8:03 left before the break. The Ladies' lead grew to five, at 25-20, as Lauren Kriete canned a three-pointer at 5:45, but the Spartans were able to end the half on a 7-2 run with Hollinger hitting a pair of free throws in the final seconds.
In the second half, each side took several turns with the lead before Kenyon moved ahead by one, 45-44, with a pair of Ernst free throws at 10:41. The Ladies then outscored the Spartans 6-2 over the next 2:07 and led 51-46 when Autumn Anderson hit a layup with 8:34 remaining. Case trimmed its deficit to one on a pair of occasions, the second coming with a Hollinger jumper that brought the score to 55-54 with 5:28 left to play. However, Kenyon was able to outscore the Spartans 13-9 the rest of the way to secure its third victory of the season.
Following tomorrow's UAA/NCAC Challenge finale versus Denison, the Spartans are right back in action at home on Wednesday, November 30 versus local-rival John Carroll University at 6:00 p.m.