2018-19 CWRU Women’s Basketball Season Recap

2018-19 CWRU Women’s Basketball Season Recap

The Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team was one of the most improved squads in all of Division III during the 2018-19 campaign, raising its win total by 11 games from the prior season and finishing the year with a 15-10 overall record.

The 15 victories for CWRU during the year marked the highest win total for the team since the 2011-12 season, and was tied for the second highest mark in program history in a single season.  It marked the fourth season of 15 or more wins in the program's history, while the quick turnaround for the Spartans was the seventh-best improvement among all NCAA Division III women's basketball teams in 2018-19.

CWRU's trademark during the year was its high-scoring offense, which averaged 71.0 points per game, the second most among University Athletic Association teams and 53rd in Division III.  The team was also able to take care of the basketball, with its 347 turnovers ranking as the eighth-fewest in the nation during the year, and its 13.9 turnovers per game checking in at 29th among Division III teams.  The Spartans shot 40.5% from the floor during the year and 31.2% from long range, and the team's 7.0 made three pointers per game were second in the UAA and 72nd in Division III.

The Spartans were led during the season by senior guard/ forward Hillary Hellmann and graduate student forward Kara Hageman, who combined for 33.1 points and 18.4 rebounds per game, as each secured a spot on the All-University Athletic Association First Team.  It was just the third time overall in program history that the Spartans have placed a pair of players on the league's top squad, and the first time since the 2009-10 campaign.

Hellmann led the league in scoring during the regular season, finishing the campaign with 17.5 points per game (the 67th-highest mark among Division III players during the year) on 42.2% shooting overall and 31.4% from three-point range.  In addition, she ranked third among all conference players during the year with 8.5 rebounds per game, and was seventh in the league with 1.0 blocks per game.  It was the third-straight year that she has claimed an All-UAA honor, and her first time on the league's first team, after claiming second team honors as a sophomore and a junior.

Returning from a season-ending injury in 2017-18 to play as a graduate student for the Spartans this season, Hageman did not miss a beat, finishing fifth in the conference with 15.6 points per game and second among UAA players with 9.9 rebounds.  She was 26th among all NCAA Division III players with 8.0 defensive rebounds per contest, while her 11 double-doubles during the year led all UAA players and marked the 69th-highest total in Division III.

Other key players for the Spartans during the year included junior guards Kendall McConico and Alicia Marie Gonzales and sophomore forward Emma Cain.  McConico and Gonzales each started all 25 games for CWRU during the year, with the former notching 7.2 points and 3.5 rebounds per game, and the latter pacing the squad with 3.4 assists per game, while adding 3.6 points.  Cain, who entered the lineup midway through the season, averaged 6.9 points and 3.7 rebounds per game in 2018-19, including 8.6 points and 4.1 rebounds on 55.4% shooting during her 16-consecutive starts to end the year.

In addition, the team was bolstered during the year by a pair of impact freshmen guards in Abbey Lawrence and Alyssa Hyland, who both appeared in all 25 games of the bench during the year.  Lawrence was third on the team in scoring, averaging 8.0 points per game and collecting 3.6 rebounds per contest.  Hyland added 6.4 points per game during the year for the Spartans.

CWRU opened the 2018-19 season with a 4-0 record with wins over Allegheny, Chatham, Denison and John Carroll, marking the just the second time in program history and the first time since 2001-02 that the team had won its first four games.  After suffering three-straight losses, the team would launch on an eight-game winning streak, second only in team history to a nine-game stretch of victories during the 2009-10 campaign.  The streak helped the Spartans climb to 12-3 on the year, matching the best 15-game record in program history.

The Spartans streak began during their Winter Break trip to Miami, Florida, where the team secured a 71-59 win over Thiel and a 102-99 win over Eastern in overtime at the HoopMIA Holiday Shootout.  The Eastern victory was particularly thrilling, as McConico knocked down a three pointer with 1.9 seconds left in regulation to tie the game and send it into overtime.  The 102 points scored in the game were the second most in program history, just three behind the program record set against Wilmington during the 2002-03 season, while Hellmann added a double-double with a season-high 30 points and 13 rebounds.

After adding a win over Wooster to extend their winning streak to three games, the Spartans opened UAA play at Carnegie Mellon with a 74-63 win over the Tartans, including a career-high 19 points from Lawrence.  CWRU picked up a non-conference win over Chatham, before claiming victories at home against New York University (72-62) and Brandeis University (67-64) to push its winning streak to seven games.  The Spartans maxed out their winning streak with a 71-57 road win over Emory, before the team's stretch of victories came to an end with a loss to Rochester.

CWRU would struggle over its next six games, but eventually notched a strong finish to its season with three wins in its final four games of the campaign, completing series sweeps with a road win at Brandeis and home victories over Emory (an NCAA postseason qualifier) and Carnegie Mellon.  The Spartans finished with a UAA record of 7-7 and placed fourth in the league, the most wins and highest conference finish for the team since 2012-13.

In addition to their success on the court during the season, sophomore guard Jasmine Floyd, Hageman, Hellmann and sophomore guard Emily Todd each received UAA Winter All-Academic recognition for their achievements in the classroom.  Hellmann was also selected as one of the 10 women's finalists for the Jostens Trophy, which recognizes outstanding student-athletes in Division III basketball for excellence in the classroom, on the court, and in their respective communities.

The Spartans earned the following awards during the 2018-19 season:

Jostens Trophy Finalist

Hillary Hellmann

Senior

Guard/ Forward

 

All-University Athletic Association

Kara Hageman

Graduate Student

Forward

First Team

Hillary Hellmann

Senior

Guard/ Forward

First Team

 

D3Hoops.com Team of the Week

Kara Hageman

Graduate Student

Forward

Feb. 24

 

UAA Athlete of the Week

Kara Hageman

Graduate Student

Forward

Feb. 4, Feb. 23

Hillary Hellmann

Senior

Guard/ Forward

Jan. 2, Jan. 14


The following were the CWRU team leaders in 2018-19:

 

Points per game

Hillary Hellmann

17.5

Rebounds per game

Kara Hageman

9.9

Assists per game

Alicia Marie Gonzales

3.4

Blocks per game

Kara Hageman

1.4

Steals per game

Kara Hageman

1.4

Field Goal % (min. 10 attempts)

Emma Cain

49.6%

3-pt % (min. 10 attempts)

Alicia Marie Gonzales

40.0%