Case Western Reserve University sophomore forward Hillary Hellmann scored a career-high 31 points, including 15 in the third quarter alone, to lead the Spartans to a 95-87 win over John Carroll University at Horsburgh Gymnasium in Cleveland, Ohio on Sunday afternoon.
With the win, the Spartans improved to 4-2 overall on the season, while John Carroll dropped to 1-2 for the campaign.
Case Western Reserve's 95 points marked their highest point total in a game since scoring 97 against John Carroll on November 28, 2012. The Spartans shot a season-best 55.8% (29-for-52) from the field, including a blistering 70.0% (14-for-20) from three-point range.
Hellmann led the way with 31 points, the most by a Spartan player since Evy Iacono scored a program-record 38 against Carnegie Mellon on January 5, 2013, and surpassing her previous career-high of 25 points against Emory last season. She finished the game shooting 10-of-17 from the floor, including six-of-nine from long range, while adding six rebounds, two steals, and three blocks. She connected on five-straight three point tries in the third quarter alone, helping the Spartans overcome a six-point deficit in the period and take a lead in the game.
Senior guard Jess McCoy finished the game with 19 points and seven rebounds on a seven-for-11 shooting effort from the floor, and junior forward Kara Hageman added 19 points of her own behind a 14-for-16 performance from the free throw line. Rounding out the Spartans' double-figure scorers was freshman Kendall McConico with 10 points, while sophomore guard Alexis Amburgey led all CWRU players with a career-best nine rebounds, and freshman guard Alicia Marie Gonzales paced the Spartans with a season-best five assists.
The Spartans came out on fire on Sunday afternoon, shooting 64.7% (11-for-17) in the first, en route to a 29-23 lead by the end of the opening period. The 29 points marked the highest scoring period by CWRU since the quarter system was implemented in NCAA women's basketball last season. The Spartans connected on four three-pointers during the period, including one by senior guard Alex Roth, her second of the quarter, with 2:20 remaining that gave CWRU a 10-point lead, 22-12.
The Blue Streaks closed the lead to six by the end of the first, and after the Spartans took a 33-25 advantage with 8:32 left in the half, John Carroll went on an 11-0 run to take their first lead of the game, 36-33, with 6:24 remaining. CWRU regained the lead on a three-point shot by Amburgey and an and-one by McCoy on the next two possessions, and the Spartans would come out of the half with a two-point lead, 51-49.
Case Western Reserve shot 58.1% from the field in the first half, led by 13 points from McCoy and 12 from Hellmann.
John Carroll opened the third quarter on a 10-2 run, before Hellmann went to work, going five-for-five on three point attempts over the team's next eight possessions, spurring a 14-6 CWRU run that gave the Spartans a 70-65 lead with 2:30 remaining in the third. Three pointers by Hageman and sophomore guard Kasey Yu capped off the quarter, as CWRU led by eight, 76-68, heading into the fourth, following a seven-for-nine (77.8%) performance from long range in the quarter.
Case Western Reserve would never trail again in the game. The Blue Streaks scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter to tie the game a 76 apiece with 7:42 remaining, but a three-pointer by McCoy on the following possession kicked off a 15-4 run and gave the Spartans the lead for good. A pair of free throws by Hageman with 1:08 remaining gave CWRU its largest lead of the day, 91-80, en route to the eight-point victory.
John Carroll's Katlyn Spahar matched Hellmann for the game high with 31 points on Sunday, while Shmoo Pryor added 18 and Camille Adelman came off the bench to score 12.
The Spartans will now begin a season-long stretch of eight-straight games on the road, starting against Denison University on Wednesday, November 30th at 7:00 p.m.