Last-Second Free Throws Lift Spartan Women to 58-56 Victory versus Rochester on Play4Kay Night

Laura Mummey scored a team-high 16 points in the win. (photo by Andrew Anderson)
Laura Mummey scored a team-high 16 points in the win. (photo by Andrew Anderson)

CLEVELAND Sophomore forward Laura Mummey (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson) scored 16 points, and junior wing Brooke Orcutt (Morrison, Colo./Dakota Ridge) hit the game-winning free throws in the final seconds as the Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team earned a thrilling 58-56 victory over the University of Rochester (N.Y.) on Play4Kay night at Horsburgh Gymnasium.

The Spartans (8-13, 2-8 University Athletic Association) snap an eight-game losing skid, while the Yellowjackets (8-13, 2-8 UAA) have lost seven-of-eight.

As part of Play4Kay night, the Spartans donned pink uniforms made possible by the generosity of the CWRU Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. All proceeds will go to benefit the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's charity of choice, the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.

Mummey led three scorers in double-figures as junior forward Erin Reynolds (St. Louis, Mo./Webster Groves) and senior guard Julie Mooney (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Jerome) scored 14 and 12, respectively.

The Yellowjackets were led by Loren Wagner with game highs of 24 points and 11 rebounds.

With the game knotted at 56, the hosts made a key defensive stop that eventually led to Orcutt getting to the foul line for the game-winning points with three seconds remaining.

A tightly contested first half saw three ties and six lead changes before the Spartans went on a 7-0 run over the final 2:37, capped off by a running triple from Mooney as time expired. The basket gave the Spartans a 34-24 advantage heading into halftime.

In the second half, the Spartan lead grew to a high of 13 when Mooney nailed a three-pointer with 17:32 left to play. An 18-6 run got Rochester back into the game as Wagner hit a layup at 11:11 to pull her team to within 45-44. The Spartans held on to their lead all the way until the 3:34 mark when Wagner hit a free throw to tie the score at 53. One possession later, the Yellowjackets grabbed the lead for the first time since the 5:26 mark of the first half as Danielle McNabb hit a jumper to move the score to 55-53 at 2:39.

The lead was short-lived, however, as Spartan freshman guard Jessica McCoy (Cranford, N.J./Cranford) countered with a three-pointer out of the corner to put her squad back on top, 56-55, with 1:45 remaining.

Wagner hit one-of-two free throws with 17 seconds left, and Rochester maintained possession with an offensive board. Fortunately, Orcutt was able to grab a key rebound prior to being fouled with three seconds on the clock. The third-year Spartan, the top free throw shooter in the UAA, then went to the charity stripe for the win.

The Spartans will play their final home game of the season this Sunday, February 16 against Emory University (Ga.) at 2:00 p.m. at Horsburgh Gymnasium.

The team will honor its two senior student-athletes, Mooney and forward Lauren Elkin (Reisterstown, Md./Carver Center for Arts & Tech), along with student coach Kathryn Huber, prior to tip-off.