Case Western Reserve University freshman Hillary Hellmann scored 18 of her career-high 25 points in the first half to pace the Spartans to a two-point win over Emory University, 75-73, in the team's final home game of the 2015-16 season.
The win gave the Spartans a season sweep of their two-game series with University Athletic Association rival Emory, as Case Western Reserve improved to 8-16 overall with a 3-10 record in conference games. Emory dropped to 13-11 on the season with a 4-9 UAA ledger.
Hellmann fell just one three-pointer shy of the school's single-game record, making all six of her threes on seven first half attempts. She finished the game shooting eight-of-13 overall, and fell just a rebound shy of a double-double.
Junior guard Jessica McCoy finished the game with 17 points, six rebounds, and four assists ,while sophomore forward Kara Hageman added 10 points and nine rebounds. Senior Laura Mummey scored another 14 on the day, and senior Emily Young paced all players in Sunday's game with six assists.
Hot shooting was the tale of the first half, with each team hitting 16 of their 31 shots during the opening 20 minutes of play, good for a mark of 51.6%. Emory led the entirety of the first period, taking a game-high eight-point lead, 24-16, following a pair of free throws from Shellie Kanuit with 1:05 to play in the period. However, a pair of free throws and a three-pointer at the buzzer by freshman Darby Kreienberg cut the Eagles' lead to just three, 24-21, heading into the second period.
Emory's lead grew back to eight following a three-pointer by Fran Sweeney with 8:05 to play. Down seven with 7:31 left in the half, Hellmann went to work for the Spartans, connecting on three unanswered three-point shots to give the Spartans their first lead of the day, 39-37 with 5:46 remaining. A jumper from Young gave the Spartans a four-point lead with 4:21 to play in the half, but the Eagles would tie the game before the break, heading into halftime even at 46-46.
McCoy scored the first basket of the second half on a three-pointer at the 7:20 mark, and the Spartans would lead the rest of the way. CWRU led by as many as seven points on two occasions, once following a layup by McCoy with 1:40 left in the third, and again after a Hageman layup with 53 seconds remaining in the third. A late layup by Emory's Lauren Weems cut the CWRU advantage to five, 61-56, heading into the final period.
The game remained tight for the entirety of the fourth quarter, with the Spartans' lead never eclipsing six points during the frame. The Eagles pulled back within one with, 72-71, with under a minute remaining, before a pair of free throws from Hellmann increased the lead back to three for CWRU. Emory's Michelle Bevan hit a layup with just eight seconds left to pull back within one. McCoy was the fouled, hitting one of two free throws with six seconds remaining, and a last-second three point attempt from Bevan to win the game missed its mark, giving the Spartans the two-point victory.
Prior to the start of Sunday's game, the Spartans held a 'Senior Day' ceremony to honor their two graduating players in Mummey and Young. The two each served as team captains during the 2015-16 season for Case Western Reserve.
Emory was paced in the game by Fran Sweeney, who led a group of five scorers in double-digits with 14 points.
The Spartans will conclude their 2015-16 season next Saturday, February 27th with a 3:00 p.m. game against Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.