The Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team dropped a 73-63 contest to the University of Rochester on Sunday afternoon at Horsburgh Gymnasium in Cleveland, Ohio.
With the loss, the Spartans fell to 14-10 on the year with a 6-7 University Athletic Association record, with one game remaining on their schedule. Rochester improved to 10-14 overall and to 4-9 in league games.
The loss came despite standout performances by both graduate student forward Kara Hageman and senior guard/ forward Hillary Hellmann. Hageman notched her conference-leading 10th double-double of the season and the 20th of her career, finishing the game with 20 points and 14 rebounds, while also dishing out three assists, blocking three shots, and tallying a pair of steals. She shot seven-of-18 overall, and made one-of-four three-point tries in the game. The 20 points on Sunday give her 1,403 for her career, as she became just the fourth player in program history with over 1,400 career points.
Hellmann added an 18-point, six-rebound performance, shooting nine-of-18 overall on Sunday, and now needs just 22 points in the Spartans' season-finale next weekend to become just the second player in program history with over 1,600 career points.
Rochester opened the game on a 10-2 run, but the Spartans were able to trim the Yellowjackets' lead to just a point, 12-11, on a layup by freshman guard Abbey Lawrence with 2:36 remaining. CWRU managed to overcome the slow start, shooting 54.5% (six-of-11) in the first period, but trailed by three, 18-15, heading into the second quarter. Rochester would go back ahead by eight with 3:44 left in the half, 29-21, before a layup by Hageman with 3:11 left started an 8-2 run for CWRU to end the quarter, and the Spartans closed the gap to two, 31-29, by halftime.
Although they would never take the lead in the game, the Spartans pulled within a single point on multiple occasions during the third quarter. A free throw by Hageman to start the period cut the deficit to 31-30 with 9:47 left, and a converted and-one by Hageman with 5:47 to go in the third made the score 38-37. With 3:50 left in the quarter, Lawrence knocked down a three-pointer to slice the lead back to a point, 43-42.
However, the Yellowjackets were able to respond each time, and took a six-point lead, 54-48, by the end of the third period. A jumper by Hellmann to start the fourth pulled CWRU back to within four points, but that would be as close as the Spartans would get the rest of the way, and Rochester pulled away in the frame to lead by as many as 14 in the final minute of play.
The Spartans finished the game shooting 41.0% overall, but struggled to find opportunities to shoot the three, hitting just two-of-10 shots from behind the arc on Sunday, the fewest number of threes both made and attempted in a contest this season by the team.
Lena Ethington led the Yellowjackets with a 23-point, 19-rebound performance in the win.
Case Western Reserve will conclude its 2018-19 season next Saturday, February 23rd, at Horsburgh Gymnasium, when the Spartans host Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to the game, the Spartans will honor the four graduating members of the team – Hellmann, Hageman and student assistant coaches Alexis Amburgey and Darby Kreienberg – with a special 'Senior Day' ceremony. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.