Spartans Top Brandeis 71-68 as Reimer Matches Program Win Record

Spartans Top Brandeis 71-68 as Reimer Matches Program Win Record

The Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team picked up its second-straight win, defeating Brandeis University 71-68 on Sunday afternoon at Horsburgh Gymnasium to give Head Coach Jennifer Reimer the program-record matching 120th win of her career.

Case Western Reserve improved to 13-9 overall with the win, and moved into a tie for fourth-place in the University Athletic Association with a 5-6 conference ledger.  Brandeis dropped to 11-11 overall with a 3-8 conference mark.

Reimer, now in her 10th season with the Spartans, matched former CWRU Head Coach Kristin Hughes (1993-04) for the most wins by a coach in program history with Sunday's victory, reaching the mark in 29 fewer games.  Reimer holds an overall record of 277-228 during her 20-year career, which includes stops at Juniata, Mount Union and Allegheny.

Three Spartan players scored in double figures in Sunday's game, led by a 20-point effort from junior forward Kara Hageman, who finished the game shooting eight-of-15 from the floor with six rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal.  She moved within nine points of the program's record for points scored in a season, and is 13 away from 1,000 for her career.

Sophomore Hillary Hellmann scored 16 points in the game, hitting four-of-nine three point attempts, and setting a new school record with 65 made three pointers this season, surpassing the previous mark of 61 set by Jasmine Rowan during the 2001-02 campaign.  Hellmann added a team-leading nine rebounds, while senior guard Jess McCoy registered a well-rounded effort on Sunday with 15 points, six rebounds, three assists, and a season-high five blocks.  As a team, the Spartans shot 42.9% from three-point range in the game, making 12-of-28 long range attempts.

The game was played closely throughout, with eight ties and 18 lead changes over the course of the first three periods alone.  A three-pointer by Hellmann with 5:40 left in the first period (which broke the school's single-season record) gave the Spartans a 10-6 lead, their largest of the first quarter, but the Judges would go on to score the final four points of the period to end the first 10-minute stanza with a 15-12 advantage.  Brandeis led for a good portion of the second quarter, but a 9-2 run by the Spartans, capped by a three-pointer by Alex Roth with 3:05 to play in the half, put the Spartans back in front 27-24.  The Judges would trim the lead back to a point by halftime, with CWRU carrying a 30-29 lead into the break.

McCoy drained a three pointer to begin the third quarter that put CWRU ahead 33-29, but after a layup by Brandeis' Maria Jackson, neither team would be able to take more than a two-point lead in the period.  After eight lead changes and four ties in the third, a three point shot by freshman guard Marissa Muth with 1:35 remaining in the period gave CWRU a 49-48 lead that it would hold until the end of the third.  The Spartans would never trail again in the game, seeing their lead bloom to as many as nine points after a layup by Hageman with 2:50 left in the period, 65-56.  A late run by the Judges cut the CWRU lead to a point, 69-68, with 17 seconds remaining, but McCoy knocked down a pair of free throws late, and blocked a three-point attempt by Brandeis' Paris Hodges with time running out, to secure the 71-68 win.

The win assured the Spartans of a winning record for the campaign, marking the first time the team will finish above .500 since going 16-9 during the 2012-13 season.

For the Judges, Maria Jackson finished with a team-leading 17 points, while Paris Hodges added a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Case Western Reserve will return to the court next weekend for its final road trip of the 2016-17 campaign.  The Spartans will begin the weekend at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia on Friday, February 17th at 6:00 p.m.