Facing a tough test in its season-opening game against a nationally-ranked opponent, the Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team dropped a 89-64 contest to 23rd-ranked Ohio Northern University at Horsburgh Gymnasium on Tuesday evening.
Sophomore Hillary Hellmann connected on four-of-seven three point attempts and finished with a team-high 17 points, and junior forward Kara Hageman added a double-double effort in the game, finishing with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
After trailing by as many as six early in the first period, the Spartans battled back to take a lead against the Polar Bears, taking a 14-11 lead on a three-point shot by Hellmann with 4:35 left in the quarter, her third of the game to that point. CWRU maintained a lead until a layup by Ohio Northern's Angela Tesney gave the Polar Bears a 19-18 lead heading into the second quarter.
Ohio Northern would not trail again in the game, outscoring the Spartans 22-11 in the second period, and taking a 12-point lead into the halftime break. Ohio Northern's lead would balloon to as many as 19 points in the third quarter, but three pointers by sophomore Kasey Yu and senior Jess McCoy and a layup by Yu brought CWRU back within 13 points with 1:23 remaining in the period. The Spartans and the Polar Bears traded baskets to end the third, with Ohio Northern carrying a 67-53 lead into the final quarter. A pair of free throws by Hellmann early in the fourth brought CWRU back within 12, but the Polar Bears would go on to outscore the Spartans 22-11 in the period to close out the win.
The Spartans finished the game shooting 40.0% from three-point range, connecting on 12-of-30 attempts as a team, and shot 38.3% overall from the field. Making her collegiate debut, freshman guard Alicia Marie Gonzales led the team with four assists, and McCoy added nine points, six rebounds and three assists in the game.
Ohio Northern's Amy Bullimore led all players in the game with 21 points and 20 rebounds. Lindsey Black added 15 points off the bench
The Spartans will be back in action this weekend, when the team travels to Washington, Pennsylvania for the Springhill Suites Tournament on Friday, November 18th and Saturday, November 19th. Case Western Reserve will open play at the tournament against host Washington and Jefferson College at 8:00 p.m. on Friday.