CWRU Women Top Carnegie Mellon 74-63 in UAA Opener

CWRU Women Top Carnegie Mellon 74-63 in UAA Opener

Case Western Reserve University freshman guard Abbey Lawrence scored 16 of her career-high 19 points in the first half, and senior guard/ forward Hillary Hellmann powered the team with 17 of her game-high 24 points in the second half, helping to lift the Spartans to a 74-63 road win over Carnegie Mellon University in their University Athletic Association opener on Saturday afternoon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The win was the fourth-straight for the Spartans, who improved to 8-3 overall, and joined Emory, Brandeis and Washington (Mo.) as winning teams on the opening day of UAA play.  Carnegie Mellon dropped to 9-3 overall and to 0-1 in the conference.

Hellmann collected her fifth double-double of the season and the 16th of her career, leading all players on Saturday with 24 points and 11 rebounds.  She shot seven-of-17 from the floor and three-of-six from long range, adding three assists and a pair of blocks.  Lawrence came off the bench to shoot seven-of-11 overall, while connecting on a career-high five three-point shots and finishing with seven rebounds, one short of a career-best mark.  Graduate student forward Kara Hageman added 10 points and seven rebounds with two assists, two steals and a block to round out CWRU's double-figure scorers in the game.

After falling behind 8-0 in the first two minutes, a timeout called by Head Coach Jennifer Reimer sparked the Spartans in the opening quarter.  Junior guard Alicia Marie Gonzales connected on a three off the timeout, spurring a 7-0 run to pull the Spartans back within a point by the 6:06 mark.  Back-to-back shots by the Tartans extended their lead back to five, but CWRU's defense would hold Carnegie Mellon scoreless over the final 4:59 of the period, and the Spartans closed out the frame on an 11-0 run to take an 18-12 lead heading into the second quarter.

The Tartans would eventually regain a lead and go ahead by as many as three points in the second quarter.  However, the Spartans' three-point prowess in the frame proved to be too much for Carnegie Mellon to handle.  CWRU made seven-of-eight three point tries in the second period, including three by Lawrence alone.  Down three points, 32-29, with 3:46 remaining, a layup by Hageman and back-to-back threes by sophomore guard Emily Todd helped CWRU take a lead it would not surrender for the remainder of the day.  Lawrence would score the next seven points for the Spartans, and a three by Hageman to close the half capped off an 18-4 run and give CWRU a 47-36 lead at the break.

Lawrence was perfect from the floor in the first half, making all six of her shots and going four-for-four from three-point range, and eclipsing her previous single-game scoring best with 16 points in the opening 20 minutes.  As a team, the Spartans shot a blazing 57.6% from the floor (19-of-33) and 75.0% from three-point range (nine-of-12).

The game's high-scoring pace would slow down in the third period, but Hellmann scored 10 of the Spartans' 12 points in the quarter, and helped the squad maintain a double-digit lead, 59-49, heading into the final period.  Hellmann connected on her third three of the game to start the fourth quarter and give CWRU its largest lead of the day, 62-49.  However, a 10-0 Carnegie Mellon run, aided by four turnovers by the Spartans, got the Tartans back within three, 62-59, with 3:57 to play.  Lawrence would stop the run with a three at the 3:35 mark, her fifth of the contest, and a layup by sophomore forward Emma Cain brought the Spartans' advantage back to eight, 67-59, with three minutes remaining.  CWRU went on to convert seven-of-eight free throw tries in the final minute of the game, building their lead back to double digits by the final buzzer.

The Spartans finished the game shooting a season-high 57.1% (12-of-21) on three-point attempts, and the team's 12 made three pointers were its most in a game this season.  CWRU outshot Carnegie Mellon 43.1% to 36.9% overall, while also holding advantages in second chance points (18-5) and rebounds (46-29).

Makayla Filiere led the Tartans with 14 points, while Jenn Mayberger added 12 and Laurel Pereira came off the bench to score 11.

Case Western Reserve will return to Pittsburgh on Monday, January 7th, when the Spartans play their final non-conference game of the 2018-19 campaign against Chatham University at 7:00 p.m.