Spartan Women Edge Denison, 57-53

Brooke Orcutt (photo by Ryan Baker)
Brooke Orcutt (photo by Ryan Baker)

CLEVELAND – Competing for the final time this semester, the Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team edged Denison University, 57-53, on Saturday afternoon at Horsburgh Gymnasium.

The Spartans improve to 5-2, while the Big Red drop to 3-5.

Senior wing Brooke Orcutt (Morrison, Colo./Dakota Ridge) led CWRU in the scoring column with 12 points and added five rebounds and four assists. Junior post Laura Mummey (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson), who made several key plays in the final minutes, finished with 11 points.

Mary Margaret Habel paced Denison with 12 points, while Jordan Holmes posted 11 points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots.

The Spartans were held scoreless for the opening 3:11, and Denison led 6-0 with a Taylor Lindquist three-pointer at 17:04. The Big Red maintained the advantage until the 11:10 mark when Orcutt scored a layup to tie the score at 14-14, and the Spartans later grabbed their first lead of 20-18 when Orcutt hit another layup with 6:22 on the clock. Back-and-forth play made up the duration of the half as CWRU went into the locker room ahead, 31-30. Rebounding was a key in the opening 20 minutes with Denison holding a 20-8 advantage on the boards.

In a slow starting second, Denison opened on an 11-5 run and led 41-36 following an Emily Krumpe layup with 12:38 left to play. Over the next eight minutes, CWRU outscored the Big Red 13-7 to build a 49-43 lead as Mummey converted a layup with 4:44 remaining. Denison then scored five in a row and pulled to within 51-50 with a Holmes layup at 2:46, but the Spartans were able to clamp down on the defensive side to protect their advantage. Mummey hit a key jumper with 59 seconds left then pulled down a defensive rebound after a missed three-point attempt with 31 seconds on the clock. Junior guard Jessica McCoy (Cranford, N.J./Cranford), who scored nine in the game, hit all four of her free throw shots in the last 13 seconds to seal the deal.

The Spartans matched Denison on the boards in the second. Senior forward Berit Eppard (Englewood, Colo./Cherry Creek) led the effort with a team-high 10 rebounds for CWRU.

The Spartans are now idle from competition until the Hoops for Hounds Classic in Williamsport, Pennsylvania on Sunday and Monday, December 28-29. The team opens the event against The College of New Jersey at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday.