A double-double by junior forward Emma Cain and a team-leading 15-point effort by sophomore guard/ forward Abbey Lawrence helped the Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team build a 15-point lead midway through the third quarter, but a cold shooting fourth quarter and a late surge by their opponents saw the Spartans fall 47-45 to Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio on Tuesday evening.
The loss saw the Spartans drop to 0-2 on the season, while Kenyon improved to 1-0.
Cain registered the first double-double of her career, scoring 14 points (one shy of her career-best mark) and collected a career-high 10 rebounds. She finished the game shooting five-of-13 from the floor and connected on four of her six free throw attempts. Lawrence's 15-point performance led the team for the second-straight game to start the year, shooting six-of-13 overall and three-of-six from long range, while adding four rebounds. Freshman guard/ forward Isabella Mills added eight points and seven rebounds on Tuesday.
A three by Mills on the Spartans' first possession of the game gave the Spartans a lead they would not relinquish until the closing minutes of the contest. CWRU took an 11-10 lead into the second quarter of the game, and then quickly expanded its lead to ten points with 7:47 to play in the period following a 9-0 run to start the frame. A layup by Cain with 1:17 to play in the half helped the Spartans maintain a 10-point lead, 27-17, heading into halftime.
The Spartans continued to expand their lead in the third quarter. A three-pointer by Lawrence with 8:38 to go in the period, followed by a jumper by Cain with 8:01 to play, helped the Spartans build a 15-point lead, 35-20, their largest of the game. Kenyon would cut into CWRU's advantage by the end of the third, but CWRU maintained a seven-point edge heading into the final quarter, 39-32.
The Spartans lead increased to 10, 42-32, on a three by Lawrence with 9:13 to play in the game, but the Spartans' shooting would turn cold from that point forward. CWRU would not get another field goal for the remainder of the game, and the Ladies would tie the game at 42-42 with 3:09 to play. Kenyon would take its first lead of the game on a pair of free throws with 1:31 remaining, and take a 46-42 lead with 1:05 left on two additional free throws. The Spartans inched closer with a pair of free throws from Cain with 46 seconds left, before another free throw by the Ladies with 18 seconds to go increased their lead back to three points. With five seconds left, sophomore guard Alyssa Hyland was fouled. After connecting on her first free throw, she missed the second, but the Spartans picked up the offensive rebound, setting up one final chance to tie the game. Hyland took the final shot in the game, but her attempt went off the backboard, and the Ladies secured the defensive rebound to lock up the win.
Case Western Reserve will look to bounce back this weekend, when the team travels to Washington, Pennsylvania for the Springhill Suites Tip-Off Tournament. The Spartans will face host Washington & Jefferson on Friday at 8:00 p.m., followed by a 1:00 p.m. matchup against Otterbein on Saturday.