CLEVELAND, Ohio – Junior guard Evy Iacono (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mount Notre Dame) scored a game-high 20 points as the Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team opened the University Athletic Association portion of its schedule with a 63-51 victory versus rival Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.) on Saturday afternoon at Horsburgh Gymnasium.
The Spartans improve to 8-4 overall and will return to action with a pair of UAA home games next weekend starting with No. 8 nationally-ranked Washington University-St. Louis at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, January 13. The Tartans drop to 5-6 and have lost 10 in a row versus CWRU.
Along with Iacono, senior forward Erin Hollinger (Chardon, Ohio/Chardon) totaled 14 points and seven rebounds, while senior forward Chelsea Peck (Pittsburgh, Pa./Oakland Catholic) chipped in with five and six.
Both offenses started slow, and CMU built a 7-2 lead at 14:19 following a pair of Emily Peel free throws. The Spartans came back with a 6-0 run and moved ahead 8-7 when junior point guard Erica Iafelice (North Canton, Ohio/Canton Hoover) scored a layup at 12:59.
After several lead changes and ties, the Spartans built a 19-13 advantage as freshman guard Amanda Germer (Malvern, Pa./Great Valley) nailed a three-pointer with 6:03 left in the half. Then with the lead at 21-16, the Spartans picked up some breathing room with an 8-0 run ending with an Iacono triple at 2:27. Case's lead then grew to 31-17 at halftime as junior center Emily Mueller (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair) hit a put-back layup at the buzzer.
In the second half, the Spartans opened fast with a 13-5 run to lead 44-22 as Hollinger hit a layup with 16:51 left to play. Case's lead grew to a game-high 25, at 52-27, when Mueller hit a jumper at 13:40. The lead held strong until CMU hit three-straight from beyond the arc as part of a late 17-3 run that brought the score to 58-51. Undaunted, the Spartans sealed the game with five key free throws in the final minute as freshman guard Brooke Orcutt (Morrison, Colo./Dakota Ridge) and Iafelice each hit a pair.
Peel led CMU with 16 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
Following next Friday's game with Washington-St. Louis, the Spartans host another top-10 opponent in No. 2 University of Chicago (Ill.) on Sunday, Jan. 15 at 2:00 p.m.