The Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team will put its undefeated record to the test on Wednesday evening, when the Spartans play host to Ohio Northern University at Horsburgh Gymnasium in Cleveland, Ohio on Wednesday, November 28th at 5:30 p.m.
Live Stats: https://athletics.case.edu/sports/wbkb/2018-19/boxscores/20181128_iqo3.xml
The Spartans have opened their 2018-19 campaign with a perfect 4-0 record, including a 79-65 win over John Carroll University in their home opener at Horsburgh Gymnasium on Sunday. The Spartans are averaging 78.3 points per game on 42.4% shooting overall and 34.2% shooting from behind the three-point line, while allowing 69.5 points per game. Senior guard/forward Hillary Hellmann leads the team with 20.3 points per game and has added 7.3 rebounds per contest, while graduate student forward Kara Hageman is averaging a double-double with 17.8 points and 10.8 rebounds. Freshman guard Alyssa Hyland has added 10.8 points per game this year, while junior guard Kendall McConico has contributed 8.8 points per contest.
The Spartans are under the leadership of Head Coach Jennifer Reimer, who is now in her 128-150 during her 12 seasons with the team and 284-251 overall during her 22-year career. She is assisted by Kelly Muffley, Erin Gdaniec, Alexis Amburgey, Darby Kreienberg and Megan Shanosky.
OHIO NORTHERN POLAR BEARS
The Polar Bears will enter Wednesday's game with a 4-0 record on the year, including a 2-0 mark in all games away from home, and a 1-0 ledger in true road contests. The team is coming off its closest game of the season, a 66-64 overtime win at home over Ohio Wesleyan on Saturday. Ohio Northern averages 75.0 points per game on 44.7% shooting overall and 38.0% from behind the three-point line, while allowing 52.0 points per game on the defensive end of the floor. Senior guard Jenna Dirksen leads the team with 15.0 points per game this year, and sophomore guard Emily Brock has scored 8.5 per game, while shooting 50.0% (10-of-20) from three-point range. Senior forward Tori Wyss leads the team with 8.0 rebounds per game.
Ohio Northern is coached by Michele Durand, who is in her 18th season with the team, and recently won her 300th game with the program. She now stands at 302-163 with the Polar Bears, and 423-320 overall for her 29-year career, which includes an 11-year stay at Bluffton. Durand is assisted by Mark Huelsman, Jon Cook and Aaron Frankart.
Wednesday's game will be the fifth meeting all-time between the Polar Bears and the Spartans, each of which has occurred over the last five years. After winning the first matchup 61-50, CWRU has dropped three straight to Ohio Northern, including an 88-49 loss last season. Hillary Hellmann paced the Spartans during last year's game, scoring a team-high 16 points and collecting six rebounds. CWRU is 1-1 all-time against Ohio Northern at Horsburgh Gymnasium.
- The Spartans have won their first four games of the season for just the second time in program history, and the first time since the 2001-02 season, when the team won each of its first six games. CWRU is one of 60 remaining undefeated teams in Division III (out of 436) entering the week.
- The Spartans rank second in the UAA and 27th among NCAA Division III teams this season with 78.3 points per game.
- CWRU is second among University Athletic Association teams with 46.0 rebounds per game. The Spartans outrebounded John Carroll 51-33 during Sunday's win, including a 34-17 edge on the defensive glass.
- Both Kara Hageman (18 points, 12 rebounds) and Hillary Hellmann (13 points, 10 rebounds) recorded double-doubles during the team's win over John Carroll on Sunday. It marked the first time that two or more CWRU players have recorded a double-double in the same game since Hageman and Hellmann accomplished the feat against on February 7, 2016 against New York University. It was the fourth time overall that Hageman and Hellmann have recorded a double-double in the same game, with the duo also doing so against Elmira on November 21, 2015 and Emory on January 24, 2016.
- The double-doubles were the second of the season for both Hageman and Hellmann, which is tied for the best mark among UAA players this season. Hageman now has 12 career double-doubles, while Hellmann has registered 13 over her career.
- Hellmann recently became the program's career leader in made three-pointers, and now has 183 for her career. She currently ranks fifth among active Division III players and 12th among NCAA players at any level in career three-point percentage (41.0%), while also ranking 10th among DIII players in career three-point field goals and 13th with 2.38 three-point field goals per game.
- Hellmann also leads all UAA players and is 37th in Division III this season with 20.3 points per game, while her career 15.9 points per game are the 18th-best among active DIII players. She is 23rd among active Division III (and 102nd among all NCAA players) with 1,224 career points, while Hageman is 40th in Division III (and 169th among all NCAA players) with 1,087 career points.
- The Spartans' lineup features three 1,000-point scorers. In addition to Hellmann and Hageman, graduate student forward Mercedes Jones has scored 1,058 points over her career, which includes a three-year stint at Hiram, prior to continuing her education at CWRU. Hellmann is now fourth in school history in points scored, and is 128 shy of Evy Iacono (2009-13) for the third-most (1,352), while Hageman is 11th in school history in career points, and is 17 away from matching Teri Chester's (1993-97) 10th-place total of 1,104.
- Hageman is 19th among active Division III players with 281 made free throws over her career. She currently leads the UAA and is 29th in Division III with 35 attempted free throws this year. Hageman also leads the UAA with 8.0 defensive rebounds per game and 10.8 total rebounds per game in 2017-18, while ranking second in the conference with 17.8 points per game.
- Junior guard Alicia Marie Gonzales is fourth among all UAA players in assist turnover ratio (2.13), total assists (17) and assists per game (4.3). Kendall McConico is fifth in the conference in free throw percentage (82.4%).