WESTERVILLE, Ohio – Competing for the first time in 17 days, the Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team showed some obvious rust in a 66-48 loss to St. Mary's College (Ind.) on day one of the 2011 Smokey Ballenger Classic hosted by Otterbein University at the Rike Center.
The Spartans (6-4) see a four-game win streak snapped, but are right back in action tomorrow evening versus tourney host Otterbein at 6:00 p.m. St. Mary's snaps a two-game losing skid and improves to 4-7 overall.
The Spartans were held to just 26.2 percent shooting from the field, and junior guard Evy Iacono (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mount Notre Dame) was the only player in double-figures with 18 points and five assists. Senior forward Chelsea Peck (Pittsburgh, Pa./Oakland Catholic) added six points and a career-high 10 rebounds, while junior point guard Erica Iafelice (North Canton, Ohio/Canton Hoover) totaled seven points and five assists.
Case scored the opening two points on a layup by Peck at the 18:46 mark, but St. Mary's answered with a 9-2 run capped by a Kelly Murphy layup at 16:56. The Belles maintained control and increased their advantage to 19 with a 21-7 run as Murphy hit a pair of free throws to make the score 30-11 with 5:12 left in the first half. The Spartans mounted a mini comeback with a 15-7 run and brought the score to 37-26 when freshman guard Brooke Orcutt (Morrison, Colo./Dakota Ridge) hit a three-pointer with five seconds remaining before intermission.
St. Mary's opened the second half with a 19-9 run and led 54-33 when Patsy Mahoney canned a triple with 10:53 left to play. The Spartans were unable to trim their deficit below 14 the rest of the way as the Belles cruised to their fourth win of the season.
Murphy led all scorers in the game with 23 points to go along with seven boards.