Spartans Dominant in 79-52 Win at #24 NYU

Spartans Dominant in 79-52 Win at #24 NYU

The Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team led for all but two minutes of Friday night's game, as the Spartans captured their second-straight University Athletic Association victory on the road with a 79-52 win at New York University at the Hunter Sportplex in Manhattan, New York.

The Spartans improved to 10-3 overall and to 2-0 in conference play, remaining in a tie for first in the UAA with the University of Chicago, which topped Rochester on Friday.  NYU, which was ranked 24th in this week's WBCA poll and received votes in the rankings, dropped to 10-3 overall and to 0-2 in UAA competition.

Sophomore forward Hillary Hellmann led the Spartans with 19 points, seven rebounds and three steals, shooting six-of-nine from the field and connecting on two-of-three shots from beyond the arc.  Junior forward Kara Hageman added 16 points and three steals, while freshman guard Kendall McConico came off the bench to score 10, and sophomore guard Alexis Amburgey finished the game with nine points.

After NYU scored the opening basket of the game, the Violets went cold over the next three and a half minutes, and the Spartans capitalized with an 8-0 run to jump out to a six point lead with 6:13 left in the quarter.  NYU trimmed the lead back down to two, 11-9, with 4:09 to play, but a 7-0 spurt by CWRU, capped off by a layup by sophomore forward Darby Kreienberg with 1:02 left, gave the Spartans an 18-9 advantage, as the team would close out the first quarter with a 20-13 lead.

Case Western Reserve scored 15 of the first 19 points to start the second quarter, taking a 35-17 lead with 4:06 remaining in the half on a three-pointer by freshman guard Alicia Marie Gonzales.  The Spartans would buffer their lead in the last two minutes of the period with back-to-back threes from Hellmann and Amburgey and a steal and a layup by McConico with time running out in the half, taking their largest lead of the first 20 minutes, 43-22, into the halftime break.

The 22 points allowed by the Spartans in the first half matched the best defensive half of the season by CWRU.  The Spartans also surrendered just 22 points in the second half of their win over Denison on November 30th.

Hellmann and Hageman combined to score 16 of the Spartans' 17 points in the third quarter, as the CWRU lead surged to as many as 25 in the period, and the team took a 60-38 advantage into the fourth.  Case Western Reserve took a game-high 29 point lead twice in the fourth quarter, once after Amburgey's third three of the game made the score 73-44 with 4:30 to play, and again after a three-pointer by freshman guard Marissa Muth that extended the Spartan advantage to 78-49 with 1:03 to play, en route to the 27-point win.

Case Western Reserve shot 51.9% (28-for-54) from the field on Friday night, as a season-high 10 different players scored in the game.  On the defensive end, the Spartans defense held NYU to 36.0% shooting from the field, including two-of-12 from long range, while collecting 14 steals and forcing 22 total Violet turnovers.  Case Western Reserved finished the game with a 26-10 edge in points off turnovers.  Kayla Patterson led NYU with 11 points, and Mikaela Pyatt added 10 in the game for the Violets.

The Spartans will wrap-up their three-game road trip to start conference play, and a stretch of eight-straight games away from home overall, when the team takes on Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts on Sunday, January 15th at 2:00 p.m.