The Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team saw its five game winning streak come to an end on Thursday night, as the Spartans fell to the 16th/22nd ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks 71-54 in the opening game of the 2016 Marriott Columbus Airport Holiday Tournament.
Case Western Reserve fell to 7-3 on the season with the loss, while Wisconsin-Whitewater raised its overall record to 9-1. The Spartans will move to the consolation game at the tournament at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, facing Olivet College, which fell to 0-10 on the season with a loss to Capital on Thursday. The Warhawks will take on Capital for the tournament championship at 5:00 p.m. on Friday.
Despite never leading in the game, the Spartans remained within striking distance of the Warhawks for the majority of the game. Trailing 31-20 midway through the second quarter, a 10-0 run, capped off by a layup by junior forward Kara Hageman, pulled the Spartans back within a point with 1:19 remaining in the period. Wisconsin-Whitewater would score the final four points of the frame to take a 35-30 lead into the break.
The game remained within single digits through the entire third quarter, but a run early in the fourth by the Warhawks pushed their lead to 13 with 7:59 left in the game, 56-43. The Spartans clawed back, pulling within six on a three-pointer by sophomore guard Kasey Yu with 4:47 to play, but would be unable to get any closer the remainder of the game.
Hageman led the Spartans with 21 points and seven rebounds, shooting eight-of-14 overall from the field, and blocking a career-best five shots. She did the majority of her damage on offense in the first half, connecting on five-of-six shots and all five of her attempts from the free throw line for 15 points. Senior guard Jess McCoy added 15 points, five rebounds three assists and three steals in the game.
Reilly Stewart came off the bench for Wisconsin-Whitewater to lead all scorers with 24 points on Thursday.
Fans can follow Friday's consolation game for the Spartans against Olivet with live stats at http://athletics.capital.edu/sports/wbkb/live-stats and live video, which will be posted to the tournament website at http://athletics.capital.edu/sports/wbkb/2016-17/2016_Holiday_Tournament and to the CWRU women's basketball schedule page, once the link is made available.