CLEVELAND, Ohio – Junior guard Evy Iacono (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mount Notre Dame) matched a career-high with 27 points and hit the game-winning shot with nine seconds remaining as the Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team upset No. 11/12 nationally-ranked University of Rochester (N.Y.) in University Athletic Association action on Friday evening at Horsburgh Gymnasium.
The Spartans sported pink uniforms as part of Play4Kay night at CWRU, with all proceeds going to benefit the Women's Basketball Coaches Association charity of choice, the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
Case (13-10, 6-6 UAA) picks up its first victory versus the Yellowjackets in 12 tries dating back to February of 2006. The Spartans close out the home portion of the schedule with Emory University (Ga.) in town on Sunday, Feb. 19 for a 2:00 p.m. Seniors' Day tip-off. Rochester falls to 19-4 overall and 8-4 in the UAA.
Iacono's 27 points came on 10-of-17 shooting from the field, including 4-of-6 from three-point range. The junior also recorded a season-high nine rebounds.
Rochester scored the first four points, but Case answered with five-straight and led by one following a three-pointer by Iacono at the 17:16 mark. After a pair of ties, the Spartans moved ahead 15-10 when senior forward Erin Hollinger (Chardon, Ohio/Chardon) nailed a three-pointer to cap a 7-0 run at 13:11. Case's led grew to six, at 18-12, as Iacono hit a free throw at 10:38, but U of R answered with a 10-0 spurt that spanned 5:53 and made the score 22-18.
The Spartans then scored six in a row and led 24-22 as freshman guard Brooke Orcutt (Morrison, Colo./Dakota Ridge) hit a jumper with 3:08 left in the half. Case's lead would balloon to seven by the break (32-25) when junior center Emily Mueller (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair) hit a jumper at the buzzer to cap a 14-3 run.
In the second half, the Spartans opened on a 9-5 run and led by a game-high 11, at 41-30, following two Iacono charity shots with 16:01 left to play. From there, Rochester battled back with eight in a row to start an 18-6 run that gave the visitors a 48-47 lead as Jodie Luther hit two free throws with 8:58 remaining. The two sides played tight from that point with two ties before the Yellowjackets moved ahead 55-52 following a Loren Wagner three-point play with 3:40 left on the clock. Case then tightened on the defensive side long enough to score four-straight and lead 56-55 as Orcutt hit two clutch free throws with 51 seconds remaining. Rochester then got to the line on its next possession and Laney Ming hit two free throws to make the score 57-56 at 00:29. But not to be denied the upset, Iacono took the ball and hit a moving jumper in the paint with nine seconds left to give the Spartans the win.
For the game, Rochester had two in double-figures as Wagner and Luther scored 16 and 12, respectively.
Prior to Sunday's game versus Emory, CWRU will honor its three women's basketball senior student-athletes – Hollinger, forward Chelsea Peck (Pittsburgh, Pa./Oakland Catholic) and forward Sarah Milligan (Canton, Ohio/McKinley). Case then closes the season at Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.) on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 3:00 p.m. in Pittsburgh.