The Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team closed out its non-conference schedule with an 80-62 win over Chatham University on Monday night in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as the Spartans pushed their winning streak to a season-long five games.
The Spartans never trailed in the game, and led for the final 37 minutes and 38 seconds of the game, en route to improving to 9-3 overall. Chatham fell to 7-8 on the season with the loss.
Senior guard/ forward Hillary Hellmann led all players in the game with 24 points and 12 rebounds to record her second-straight double-double and her sixth total this season. She shot 10-of-19 overall and four-of-10 from three-point range, while adding two assists and a steal. Freshman guards Abbey Lawrence (15 points) and Alyssa Hyland (11 points) were also in double figures in the game, while graduate student forward Kara Hageman finished the game with seven points and 10 rebounds, and junior guard Alicia Marie Gonzales dished out a team-best six assists.
Case Western Reserve opened the game on an 11-2 run, with a pair of threes by Hellmann and one by junior guard Kendall McConico spurring the team's early success. Hellmann and McConico combined for the team's first 15 points, putting the Spartans ahead by nine, 15-6, with 3:17 to play in the opening quarter, before an 8-2 stretch to close the period by the Cougars closed the gap to three, 17-14, entering the second. CWRU would lead by as many as 10 points in the second period, aided in part by a seven-point effort in the quarter by Lawrence, and would carry a 38-30 lead into halftime.
The Spartans withstood an early run in the third quarter by the Cougars, who started the period four-for-six from three-point range, after going just two-for-11 from long range in the opening half. Chatham would get within six points in the quarter, but the Spartans defense held the Cougars without a field goal over the final 5:33 of the period, rebuilding their advantage to 10, 57-47, heading into the fourth quarter.
Chatham would again pull within six points in the fourth, cutting the CWRU lead to 59-53 with 9:16 to play, before an 8-0 run by CWRU effectively put the game out of reach. The Spartans' lead would grow to as many as 18 points in the quarter after a three by sophomore guard Emily Todd set the final score to 80-62 with 25 seconds remaining.
The Spartans finished the game shooting 48.4% (31-of-64), the team's second-highest mark in a game this season and their third-straight game shooting over 40.0%. Case Western Reserve also made 11-of-28 three-point tries (39.3%), marking the third time this season (each in the last four games) that it has tallied double-figure made threes. CWRU was dominant on the boards, out-rebounding Chatham 48-26, and the Spartans' bench outscored Chatham's 34-13 in the game. The Spartans also tallied a season-high 22 assists in the game.
The win gives the Spartans a season sweep over Chatham, after CWRU also defeated the Cougars on November 17th, 74-69, at the Greg Richards Tournament.
With the Spartans' non-conference schedule now complete, the team will turn its attention towards the 13 games remaining in its schedule, all of which are against University Athletic Association opponents. Case Western Reserve will return home this weekend for its first home UAA weekend of the campaign, hosting New York University on Friday, January 11th at 6:00 p.m. and Brandeis University on Sunday, January 13th at 2:00 p.m. at Horsburgh Gymnasium.