Second Half Run Dooms Spartan Women in 59-50 Loss at No. 12/17 Washington-St. Louis

Marissa Miles (photo by Annie O'Neill)
Marissa Miles (photo by Annie O'Neill)

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Junior forward Marissa Miles (McDonald, Pa./Fort Cherry) turned in a season-best 10 points, but the Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team let a seven-point lead at halftime slip away in a 59-50 loss to No. 12/17 nationally-ranked Washington University-St. Louis on Friday evening inside the WU Field House.

The Spartans (12-9, 5-5 University Athletic Association) see a four-game winning streak snapped and will continue their final conference road weekend of the winter at No. 2 University of Chicago (Ill.) on Sunday, February 12 at 2:00 p.m. CDT. Wash. U. improves to 17-4 and 7-3 in the UAA.

The first 10 minutes were tightly contested as neither side possessed a lead of more than three. With the score knotted at 14 at the 9:38 mark, Spartan freshman guard Brooke Orcutt (Morrison, Colo./Dakota Ridge) knocked down a three to open a 9-0 run that included a long jumper by junior guard Evy Iacono (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mount Notre Dame) and back-to-back layups by junior center Emily Mueller (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair), giving the Spartans a 23-14 advantage with 6:00 left in the first half. Case maintained that edge and took a 27-20 lead into the lockeroom, ending a half that featured five ties and five lead changes.

Out of the break, the Bears tallied the initial six points cutting the Spartan advantage to one (27-26) as Dani Hoover scored a layup with just under 18 minutes left. However, the Spartans answered with a 7-2 run that included a three by senior forward Erin Hollinger (Chardon, Ohio/Chardon), giving Case a 34-28 lead with 16:40 remaining.

The hosts once again answered with a 7-0 spurt capped off by a Brianne Monahan layup at 12:40 that gave the Bears their first lead of the second half. Riding the wave of momentum, the Bears rattled off a 16-4 run covering the ensuing eight minutes and led 51-38 as Maddy Scheppers hit a layup with 4:05 showing in regulation. The Spartans were able to slice that deficit to nine (51-42) via lay-ups by Hollinger and Orcutt, but Washington-St. Louis slowly pulled away for the nine-point home victory.

In addition to Miles, Hollinger and senior forward Chelsea Peck (Pittsburgh, Pa./Oakland Catholic) each scored nine for the Spartans.

Melissa Gilkey posted a double-double for the Bears with 12 points and a game-best 14 rebounds, while Scheppers added 11 and nine boards as four Washington players posted double-digit scoring performances.

For the game, the Bears possessed a 46-34 advantage on the glass.