The Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team pushed the 12th-ranked University of Rochester to the brink on Friday night, leading by as many as 17 points in the game, but ultimately fell short to the Yellowjackets, losing 75-69 in overtime at Horsburgh Gymnasium.
Case Western Reserve sophomore Kara Hageman tallied a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds, her sixth of the season. Freshman Hillary Hellmann led the squad with 17 points, while junior Jessica McCoy added 11 points and nine rebounds, and senior Emily Young scored 10 points.
Case Western Reserve hit four of its seven three-pointers for the game in the first quarter, helping the squad jump out to a seven-point lead, 19-12, after the first 10 minutes of action. Trailing 6-5 with 6:55 to play in the first quarter, the Spartans launched on a 14-6 run to end the quarter. McCoy and junior Alex Roth connected on back-to-back threes, and Hageman followed with a jumper with 42 seconds left that gave CWRU a 19-11 lead, their largest of the quarter.
The Spartans added to their lead in the second, taking a 17-point advantage, 36-19, after a pair of free throws from Hageman at the 2:17 mark. Rochester trimmed the lead back down to 10, but a layup from McCoy and a free throw from freshman Samantha Magliato allowed the Spartans to carry a 13-point lead into the halftime break, 41-28.
A three-pointer by Roth at the 7:11 mark in the third saw the Spartans' lead balloon back to 14 points at 44-30, but the Yellowjackets would take the lead by the end of the third, ending the period on a 20-5 run. Rochester notched the final nine points of the period, and a layup by Lauren Deming at the buzzer gave the Yellowjackets a 50-49 lead heading into the fourth.
Case Western Reserve bounced back, taking a five-point lead, 59-54, with 5:30 to play in regulation, but a layup by Brynn Lauer tied the game at 61-61 with 3:38 remaining. Neither team would knock down a field goal the remainder of the game, and after exchanging a free-throw each, the Spartans and Yellowjackets headed into overtime knotted at 62-62.
Rochester took a two-point lead early in the extra period on a pair of free throws from Alexandra Leslie, but a layup from senior Laura Mummey and a jumper from Roth gave the Spartans a two-point advantage of their own, 66-64 with 2:19 to play. The Yellowjackets had the answer, with Kayla Kibling hitting a three with 2:08 to play in overtime, giving Rochester a lead it would not relinquish the remainder of the game. The Yellowjackets would lead by as many as six in the overtime period, their largest lead of the game.
Alexandra Leslie led all scorers on the day with 18 for the Yellowjackets.
The loss dropped the Spartans to 7-16 overall on the season and to 2-10 in the University Athletic Association. Rochester remained in second place in the conference with a 9-3 UAA mark, and improved to 19-4 overall.
The Spartans will wrap-up their home season at Horsburgh Gymnasium on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. against Emory University. Prior to the start of the game, Case Western Reserve will honor its two graduating players – Emily Young and Laura Mummey – with a special 'Senior Day' ceremony prior to the start of the game.