Kenyon College's Sharon Hull knocked down a tie-breaking jumper with 2.1 seconds remaining to propel the Ladies past Case Western Reserve University 53-51 at Horsburgh Gymnasium in Cleveland, Ohio on Friday night.
The loss dropped the Spartans to 3-4 on the year, while Kenyon improved to 8-1 with the victory.
Case Western Reserve junior guard/forward Hillary Hellmann scored 17 of her game-high 23 points in the second half alone, and collected 10 rebounds for her third double-double of the season. She shot seven-of-20 from the floor and matched her career-high with six three pointers, while also tallying three steals and a pair of blocks. Sophomore guard Kendall McConico added a 12-point effort, and freshman Emma Cain tallied season-highs with 11 points and six rebounds in the game. As a team, the Spartans shot 38.9% (seven-of-18) from long range, compared to just 20.0% (four-of-20) for the Ladies.
Case Western Reserve held Kenyon without a field goal for the first five minutes of Friday night's game, jumping out to a 7-1 lead after a three pointer by Hellmann with 5:26 remaining in the opening quarter. The Spartans would maintain their lead for the remainder of the period, and carry a 12-10 advantage into the second quarter. The CWRU defense continued to limit Kenyon's offense in the second quarter, holding the Ladies to just six points in the period, while McConico scored six points in the period on her own, helping spur the Spartans to a game-high nine point lead with 1:02 left in the half, and a 23-16 advantage over Kenyon by halftime.
McConico led the team at the half with eight points, while Hellmann added six points and five rebounds, and Cain chipped in four points and collected five first half rebounds. The Spartans forced 10 Ladies turnovers in the first half, and held Kenyon to just 22.6% shooting (7-for-31) from the floor.
The Spartans weathered a Kenyon run in the third quarter that saw the Ladies take a 32-28 lead with 2:53 to play in the period. However, Hellmann heated up from the perimeter, knocking down three three-point shots over a minute stretch late in the third, helping the Spartans take a 39-36 lead into the final quarter. The game remained close late, but Cain gave the Spartans a one-point lead on a layup with 5:41 to play, and after a basket by Kenyon, put the team back ahead, 44-42, with an and-one with 5:40 to play. The Ladies would battle back, eventually taking a three-point lead with 1:59 to go, before Hellmann evened the score at 51-51 with her sixth and final three pointer of the game with 20 seconds left to play.
The Ladies would take advantage of their final possession of the game, as Hull knocked down a jumper from the wing with just 2.1 left on the clock off an assist from Paige Matijasich. The Spartans had one final chance, but a three-point attempt by Hellmann at the buzzer bounced off the rim and ended the contest.
The Spartans will be back in action on Monday, December 11th, when the team travels across town to Berea, Ohio for a 7:00 p.m. game at Baldwin Wallace University, the squad's final game before an 18-day break for finals and the holiday season.