Second-Half Struggles Loom Large as Spartan Women Fall to No. 2 Chicago, 73-44

Erin Hollinger
Erin Hollinger

CHICAGO, Ill. - Senior forward Erin Hollinger (Chardon, Ohio/Chardon) recorded a game-high 17 points, but No. 2 nationally-ranked University of Chicago (Ill.) outscored the Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team 50-26 in the second half en route to a 73-44 victory during University Athletic Association play on Sunday inside the Ratner Athletics Center.

With the loss, the Spartans dip to 12-10 overall and 5-6 in the UAA, while Chicago remains undefeated improving to 22-0 and 11-0 in league play.

Chicago jumped out early with the initial four points in a low-scoring first half. The Spartans responded by tying the game at 9-9 at the midway point of the period following a layup from senior forward Chelsea Peck (Pittsburgh, Pa./Oakland Catholic). Over the next five minutes, Chicago rattled off an 8-2 run making it 17-11, but the Spartans sliced that lead to three on a three-pointer by junior point guard Erica Iafelice (North Canton, Ohio/Canton Hoover) at 2:19. The Maroons then finished the half on a 6-4 run to lead 23-18 at the break.

Out of halftime, the Maroons tallied 12 of the first 15 points moving their lead to 14 (35-21) with a Taylor Simpson layup at 15:42. The hosts continued to apply pressure increasing the advantage to 22 (58-36) with 4:12 remaining on a layup from Hannah Ballard. The Spartans were unable to find a rythmn on the offensive side, and Chicago cruised to the 29-point win.

For the game, the Spartans connected on just 16-of-47 (34 percent) attempts from the field, including 9-of-25 in the second half and 2-of-17 from beyond the arc.

In addition to Hollinger's 17 points, Iafelice, freshman guard Brooke Orcutt (Morrison, Colo./Dakota Ridge) and Peck each chipped in with six for Case.

Simpson led the Maroons with 12 points along with a game-high nine rebounds, while Torres and Morgan Herrick each chipped in with nine markers.

As a team, Chicago held a 42-25 advantage on the glass and connected on 8-of-17 (47.1%) from beyond the arc.