Case Western Reserve University graduate student forward Kara Hageman scored a season-high 22 points and collected 13 rebounds, but it was not enough for the Spartans, who suffered an 81-62 loss to Washington University (Mo.) in Cleveland, Ohio on Sunday afternoon.
With the loss, CWRU fell to 12-8 overall, including a 4-5 mark in the University Athletic Association, while Washington raised its record to 15-5, and remained in first place in the conference with a 9-0 league record. The game was the final contest of CWRU's annual Throwback Weekend, as the game was played at historic Adelbert Gymnasium, and the Spartan wore their throwback Mather College yellow uniforms.
Hageman shot seven-for-18 overall and made two-of-eight three pointers, while adding three blocks in the contest. The double-double was her fifth in conference play this season. Freshman guard Alyssa Hyland and graduate student guard/ forward Hillary Hellmann each added nine points apiece for the Spartans on Sunday.
The lead changed hands frequently in the opening quarter, with the first period featuring three ties and seven lead changes. A layup by freshman guard Abbey Lawrence put CWRU ahead 14-13 with 52 seconds left in the period, before a pair of free throws in the final second of the quarter by Katie Claussner put the Bears in front 15-14 heading into the second period.
Junior guard Alicia Marie Gonzales hit her second three of the game on the Spartans' first possession of the second period, and CWRU went on to lead by as many as five in the period, going ahead 24-19 on a three by Lawrence with 6:42 to play in the half. However, Washington responded with a 20-0 run over the next five minutes to go ahead by 15, before layups by Hageman and Hellmann helped cut the Spartans' deficit down to 11 at the break, 39-28.
CWRU made a run in the third quarter, opening the frame on a 7-0 run to pull within four points, 39-34, with 7:40 to go. The Bears would not hit a basket until a three pointer by Caroline Ballard at the 4:14 mark ended the Spartans run, and Washington would end the period with a 53-46 lead. The Bears grew their lead to double-figures early in the fourth quarter, and took a game-high 19 point lead in the final seconds of the contest.
Case Western Reserve will be on the road next weekend for the final time this season, facing UAA opponents NYU and Brandeis. The Spartans will open the weekend against the Violets in New York, New York on Friday, February 8th at 6:00 p.m.