Spartans Fall to Yellowjackets 77-68 in UAA Matchup

Spartans Fall to Yellowjackets 77-68 in UAA Matchup

The Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team held a three-point lead with just over five minutes remaining against the 23rd-ranked University of Rochester on Sunday afternoon, but a late rally propelled the Yellowjackets past the Spartans 77-68 at Horsburgh Gymnasium.

The Spartans dropped to 10-6 overall on the season and to 2-3 in conference play with the loss, while Rochester raised its season ledger to 12-4, including a 3-2 University Athletic Association mark.

Case Western Reserve sophomore forward Hillary Hellmann scored 24 points to lead the Spartan, shooting nine-of-18 from the field, including five-of-seven from behind the three-point line, while collecting three rebounds and matching her career-high with four steals.  Junior forward Kara Hageman added 17 points, a team-high five rebounds, two block and three steals, and sophomore guard Alexis Amburgey finished the game with a career-high 10 points.

As a team, CWRU shot 43.3% from the field, including a 37.5% mark from three-point range.

Leading the way for the Yellowjackets was junior forward Alexandra Leslie with 27 points and 12 rebounds, with junior guard Lauren Deming contributing a double-double of her own with 19 points and 13 rebounds.

Rochester controlled the pace early in the game, building a 10-point lead by the end of the first quarter, 23-13.  The Yellowjackets would see their advantage climb to as many as 12 in the second period, but the Spartans went on a 15-2 run over a five minute stretch late in the quarter to surge past the Yellowjackets.  Trailing 31-21, a pair of free throws and a layup by senior guard Jess McCoy, and a layup by Hellmann brought CWRU back within four.  After a basket by Rochester's Alexandra Leslie pushed the lead back to six, CWRU scored nine unanswered to take the lead, seven of which came from freshman guard Marissa Muth.  The Spartans would close the first period up by a point, 36-35.

In a third quarter that featured three ties and four lead changes, Hellmann connected on three three-pointers, en route to scoring 13 of the team's 16 points in the period.  After falling behind 45-40 with 5:03 left in the third, CWRU closed the quarter on a 12-5 run to take a two-point lead into the final stanza.  The Spartans would take a three-point lead, 60-57, following back-to-back baskets by Hageman with 5:40 to play.  However, a basket by Leslie followed by a pair of free throws and a three-pointer from Sarah Kaminsky pushed Rochester out in front for good in the game.  The Yellowjackets' nine-point lead at the end of the  game was the team's largest of the second half.

Hellmann has now scored at least 20 points in each of the Spartans' last three games, and in five of their last six contests.  Sunday's game also marked the third-straight game and sixth time this season that she has converted at least five three-point tries in a game.  Hellmann is shooting 51.4% from three-point range this season, including a blistering 66.7% (24-for-36) from long distance in the team's five conference games.

The Spartans will be back in action on Friday, January 27th, playing host to the University of Chicago at 6:00 p.m.  The game will be played at historic Adelbert Gymnasium as a part of Throwback Weekend, as the Spartans recognize the Case Institute of Technology, Western Reserve University and Mather College programs that federated to become Case Western Reserve University.