Case Western Reserve University freshman guard Emily Todd scored a career-high 22 points, but a strong second half propelled the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges Athenas past the Spartans 78-58 at the David Wells Classic in Claremont, California on Friday night.
The loss dropped the Spartans to 1-2 on the year, while the Athenas raised their season record to 2-1.
Todd connected on eight-of-17 shots overall, including four-of-nine three point tries, en route to her second-straight double-figure scoring effort. Junior guard/forward Hillary Hellmann added 19 points on seven-of-17 shooting from the floor, including three-of-eight from long range, and collected four rebounds. Sophomore guard Alicia Marie Gonzales led all Spartan players with five rebounds and five assists, and freshman forward Emma Cain tallied a team-high three steals.
The Spartans started fast on Friday night, making seven of their first eight shots, including three three-pointers on as many attempts. Todd and Hellmann each knocked down a pair of threes in the first quarter and finished the opening period with eight points apiece. CWRU led by as many as five in the first quarter, after one of Todd's three pointers extended the Spartans' lead to 17-12 with 4:50 to play, and Hellmann's second three of the period gave the Spartans a 24-21 lead heading into the second quarter.
A layup by Hellmann to start the second period put the Spartans back up by five, as did a layup by McConico with 6:33 to play in the quarter. Four-straight free throws with under two minutes remaining put the Athenas in front for the first time since their opening basket of the game, but CWRU closed out the half with five of the final seven points, including a jumper by Todd before the buzzer, to carry a 35-33 advantage after the first 20 minutes of play.
Todd and Hellmann each had a game-high 12 points during the first half.
The game stayed close through most of the third quarter, with the score tied at 46-46 with 3:50 to play in the period. However, after not hitting a three-point shot in the first half, the Athenas erupted for five threes in the third alone, including four in the final three minutes, to build a 10 point lead by the end of the third, 61-51. A 9-0 run for Claremont-Mudd-Scripps to start the fourth quarter extended their lead to 70-51, effectively putting the game out of reach for the Spartans with six minutes remaining.
The Athenas were led by Kailee Severt, who finished with a team-leading 22 points and added eight rebounds, while Maya Love registered a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
The Spartans will wrap-up play at the David Wells Classic tomorrow evening, when the team takes on Pomona-Pitzer Colleges at 8:30 p.m. ET in Claremont, California.