The Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team picked up its third-straight win on Wednesday night, topping Denison University 63-48 in Granville, Ohio.
The Spartans improved to 5-2 overall on the season with the win, while Denison fell to 1-6 with the loss.
Turnovers proved to be a major story in the game, with the Spartans collecting a season-high 16 steals in the game, and scoring 16 points off 18 total Denison turnovers. Meanwhile, Case Western Reserve turned the ball over just four times in the game, en route to the win.
Junior forward Kara Hageman led the Spartans with 20 points in the game, adding six rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals, turning in a strong all-around effort despite being consistently matched up against preseason All-America Third Team selection Jordan Holmes for Denison. Sophomore forward Hillary Hellmann finished with 18 points and four steals, and senior guard Jess McCoy scored 15 points, while leading all CWRU players with eight rebounds. Freshman guard Alicia Marie Gonzales added a team-high five steals in the game to lead the defensive effort.
After Denison scored the opening basket off the game, the Spartans went on a 13-0 run over the next five minutes, with Hageman scoring nine and McCoy four during the stretch. Case Western Reserve led by as many as 11 in the first period following a three pointer by sophomore guard Kasey Yu with 2:33 remaining that gave the Spartans an 18-7 advantage, and ended the quarter up seven, 21-14. The Big Red trimmed the CWRU lead down to as few as five early in the second, but a 16-5 Case Western Reserve run helped the Spartans take a 16-point lead in the quarter, and went into halftime with a 13-point edge, 39-26, over Denison.
Hageman, McCoy and Hellmann combined to shoot 65.2% (15-for-23) from the field in the first half and score 32 of the team's 39 points, while the team scored 11 points off 12 Denison turnovers in the first 20 minutes, including 11 CWRU steals.
Denison scored the first three baskets of the second half to cut the lead down to 39-32 with 6:35 remaining in the third, but Hageman would score seven and Hellman six over the rest of the quarter, as the Spartans would end the frame with a 56-40 lead, matching their largest of the game. The Big Red would get back within single digits just once in the fourth quarter, and a 6-0 run by the Spartans to close out the game would secure the 15-point victory, their largest of the season.
The Spartans shot 39.1% (27-69) from the field in the game, including a 53.2% mark (25-for-47) from inside the three-point arc. The 48 points allowed by CWRU were the fewest in a game this season, as the Spartans held Denison to just 37.0% shooting from the field.
Jordan Holmes finished the game with 22 points, 15 rebounds and nine blocks to lead Denison. No other Big Red player managed to score more than five points in Wednesday's game.
Case Western Reserve will be back in action this weekend, traveling to the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio on Saturday, December 3rd for a 2:00 p.m. tipoff against the Fighting Scots.