The Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team will head south this week to Miami Shores, Florida for the 2018 HoopMIA D3 Holiday Shootout, hosted by Eastern University at the Barry University Health & Sports Center. The Spartans will open play against Thiel College on Wednesday, December 19th at 12:00 p.m, followed by a contest against Eastern on Thursday, December 20th at 12:00 p.m.
Video (both games): https://goeasterneagles.com/sports/2018/12/5/hoop_MIA_Division3_holiday_shootout.aspx
Live stats (both games): https://goeasterneagles.com/sidearmstats/wbball/summary
The Spartans will enter the tournament looking to turn around a three-game losing streak, which includes a 74-62 setback at Kenyon last Monday. Case Western Reserve stands at 4-3 overall on the season, including a 1-0 mark in neutral-site games. The Spartans are averaging 71.9 points per game on 41.4% shooting overall and 32.7% shooting from three-point range, while allowing 72.1 points per contest. Senior forward Hillary Hellmann leads the team with 17.9 points per game and has added 6.9 rebounds per contest, while graduate student forward Kara Hageman has scored 17.3 points per game and added a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game.
The Spartans are under the leadership of Head Coach Jennifer Reimer, who is now 128-153 during her 12 seasons with the team and 285-254 overall during her 22-year career. She is assisted by Kelly Muffley, Erin Gdaniec, Alexis Amburgey, Darby Kreienberg and Megan Shanosky.
Thiel has lost its last four games to fall to 2-6 overall on the season, including a 2-0 record in neutral-site games. The Tomcats are coming off a 63-53 loss at Bethany College on December 8th, and will face Wisconsin-Oshkosh on Monday before playing the Spartans on Wednesday. The team averages 69.0 points per game on 37.6% shooting overall and 28.4% shooting from long range, while allowing 76.6 points per contest. Senior guard Jess Vormelker has paced the team with 22.6 points per game and has added 8.1 rebounds per game, and freshman forward Destiny Johnson is averaging a double-double with 13.0 points and 11.6 rebounds per game.
Thiel is under the leadership of Head Coach Rob Clune, who is in his seventh season with the team and has a 32-129 record with the Tomcats. He had previously coached the men's basketball teams at both Bethany and Allegheny, going 165-223 during his 15 years with the two programs. Clune is assisted by Darien Lantz.
Wednesday's meeting between the Spartans and the Tomcats will be the first time the two teams have played each other since December 4, 2002, when CWRU defeated Thiel 89-51. CWRU is 5-4 all-time against Thiel.
Eastern is also entering the tournament on a four-game losing streak, and will face Wisconsin-Oshkosh on Tuesday, prior to facing the Spartans on Thursday. The Eagles are 4-6 overall on the season, including an 0-1 record in neutral-site games, and were last in action on Saturday, falling at Haverford College 68-35. The team has averaged 63.1 points per game on 38.2% shooting overall and 29.7% shooting from three-point range, while allowing 66.9 points per contest. Senior forward Regie Robinson has led the team with 17.6 points and 10.1 points per game, and freshman guard Jaelyn Harris has added 11.3 points per contest.
Eastern is coached by Eric Houston, who is in his fourth season at the team's helm, going 39-47. He is assisted by Tom Dillard, Mariah Powell, Amber Anderson and Andy Haman.
When the Spartans and the Eagles meet on Thursday, it will be the first-ever contest between the two teams.
- The Spartans are third among University Athletic Association teams this season with 71.9 points scored per game. CWRU is also third with a 32.7% mark on three-point attempts and 41.7 rebounds per game.
- Case Western Reserve has the top-two scorers in the conference this season, with Hellmann leading all UAA players with 17.9 points per game, and Hageman ranking second with 17.3 points per contest. Hageman is also second in the UAA with 8.1 rebounds per game, and sixth with 1.2 blocks per game.
- Two Spartan players are ranked in the top-four in the UAA in three-point percentage this year. Freshman guard Alyssa Hyland is third in the conference with a 41.3% mark from three-point range, while Hellmann is shooting 41.3%, the fourth-best in the conference.
- Hellmann is just 19 points away from becoming the fourth player in program history to surpass 1,300 career points. She currently sits in fourth place in program history with 1,281 points, and is 71 points away from matching former Spartan Evy Iacono (2009-13) for the third-most points scored in program history. Hellmann is also the program's all-time leader with 190 career made three-pointers, and is 12th in program history with 504 career rebounds.
- Hageman moved into ninth-place in program history with 1,155 career points, and sits 10 away from former Spartan Jasmine Rowan (2000-04) for eighth-place, and 28 away from Ashleigh Tondo (2006-10) for seventh-place, and 42 off of Allison Bethea for sixth-place. She ranks 11th in program history with 517 career rebounds, second with 291 made free throws, and fifth with 103 career blocks.
- Junior guard Alicia Marie Gonzales is fourth among all UAA players with a 2.5 assist/turnover ratio. She is also fifth in the conference and leads all Spartans with 3.6 assists per game in 2018-19.
- There are numerous ties between the CWRU and Thiel coaching staffs. CWRU's Jennifer Reimer was the Head Coach of the Allegheny women's basketball program at the same time Thiel's Rob Clune was coaching the men's team. Clune also coached CWRU assistant coach Kelly Muffley in college, and Muffley was an assistant on his Thiel staff last season. In addition, Clune coached CWRU Head Men's Basketball Coach Todd McGuinness when he was a player at Bethany College.