CWRU Women’s Basketball Returns from Break at the Smokey Ballenger Classic

CWRU Women’s Basketball Returns from Break at the Smokey Ballenger Classic

The Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team will return from an 18-day layoff with a pair of games at the Smokey Ballenger Classic in Westerville, Ohio, facing host Otterbein University at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 29th at 5:00 p.m. and 21st-ranked Marietta College at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 30th.

Live Coverage
Friday, December 29th at Otterbein
Live Stats:

Saturday, December 30th vs. Marietta
Live Stats:

For additional information on the Smokey Ballenger Classic, visit the official website of the tournament at

CWRU Spartans
The Spartans will look to bounce back from back-to-back losses heading into their break for finals and the holidays, including a 77-51 setback at Baldwin Wallace in their last outing on December 11th.  The team is now 3-5 overall, including a 2-3 mark in road games this season.  Case Western Reserve has averaged 64.0 points per game this year, shooting 37.8% overall and 31.0% from long range, while allowing 69.2 points per game.  Junior forward Hillary Hellmann has led the team with 18.1 points and 7.0 rebounds per game this year, while sophomore guard Kendall McConico has added 12.0 points per game, and freshman Emily Todd has scored 10.1 points per contest.

The Spartans are under the leadership of Head Coach Jennifer Reimer, who became the program's all-time leader with her 121st career victory with CWRU earlier in the season.  She has a career record of 279-235 during her 21-year career as a collegiate head coach, including a 123-135 mark during her 11 seasons with the Spartans.  Reimer is assisted by CWRU alumnae Brooke Orcutt and Erin Gdaniec.

Otterbein Cardinals
The Cardinals will enter their home tournament with a 5-4 overall record, including a 1-1 mark on their own court this season.  The team will be playing for the first time since December 16th, when it suffered a 61-49 setback to Muskingum.  Otterbein is averaging 63.3 points per game on 39.4% shooting overall, including 28.9% shooting from three point range, and has allowed 68.2 points per game.  Senior forward Kiersten Taylor has led the team with 14.2 points and 7.0 rebounds per game this season, while junior guard Dani Kissel (13.0 ppg) and junior guard Ali Cartnal (10.7 ppg) are also averaging over 10 points per game this year.

Otterbein is coached by Connie Richardson, who has spent her entire 27-year career with Otterbein, going 353-327.  She is assisted by Diana Noles and Mary Corbett.

The Spartans are 4-3 all-time against Otterbein.  This will be the first meeting between the two teams since CWRU defeated Otterbein 63-56 at a tournament on November 16, 2012.

Marietta Pioneers
Marietta, ranked 21st in the latest Women's Top-25, has opened its season with nine-straight wins (including a 3-0 record away from home), and will face Calvin College on Friday before taking on the Spartans on Saturday.  The team last played on December 19th, claiming an 86-71 win at home over Washington and Jefferson.  The Pioneers are averaging 82.2 points per game on 44.7% shooting from the floor, including a 35.3% mark from three-point range, and are allowing 70.1 points per contest.  The team has three players averaging at least 10 points per game this season – senior guard Brooke Borich (13.2 ppg), senior guard Amisha Herd (12.0 ppg) and junior forward Corrie Burkhardt (10.6 ppg).  Burkhardt also leads the team with 8.6 rebounds per game, while Herd has paced the squad with 4.6 assists and 3.6 steals per contest.

Marietta is coached by Kole Vivian, who is in his second season with the team and has a career record of 25-11.  He is assisted by Maggie Miller, Jordan Anderson, Scott Stalter and Krissy Knab.

Saturday's game will be the first meeting between the two teams since the 2009-10 season, with the Spartans claiming a 72-39 win during a tournament at Carnegie Mellon University.  The Spartans are 4-4 all-time against Marietta.

Spartan Notes
This weekend's games will be the Spartans' final non-conference games of the season… Marietta will be the second nationally-ranked team that CWRU has faced this season… The Spartans have four more games against team that are currently ranked in the Top-25 (two apiece against ninth-ranked Rochester and 23rd-ranked Washington)… CWRU will also play two games against Chicago, which received votes in the latest poll… The Spartans have used the same starting lineup in all eight games so far this season – junior Hillary Hellmann, sophomores Kendall McConico and Alicia Marie Gonzales, and freshmen Emily Todd and Emma Cain… Gonzales has started all 33 games during her collegiate career… Hellmann is now 18th in school history with 914 career points, and is 86 points shy of becoming the 15th player in program history with 1,000 career points… She is also tied for sixth in school history with 139 career made three pointers, and is 40 shy of the program record, currently held by both Evy Iacono (2009-13) and Jasmine Rowan (2000-04)… Hellmann has tallied three double-doubles this season, and has nine for her career… Among her nine career double-doubles, she has scored at least 20 points four times, including during each of her three this year… McConico is fifth in school history with a .462 career field goal percentage... Hellmann has led the team in scoring five times this season, including three of the last four games… Hellmann has also led the team in rebounds on five occasions this season… Todd has led the team in scoring twice, with McConico pacing the squad in points once.