The Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team will look to rebound from back-to-back losses to start its 2019-20 campaign this weekend, when the team travels to Washington, Pennsylvania for the Springhill Suites Women's Basketball Tip-Off Tournament. The Spartans will face host Washington & Jefferson College at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, November 15th, before taking on Otterbein College at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 16th.
Live statistics will be available for both games at https://gopresidents.com/sidearmstats/wbball/summary. There will be live video of the Spartans' Friday night game against Washington & Jefferson at http://pacathletics.org/watch/default.aspx?Live=889&path=wj. There is no video coverage of the Spartans' Saturday meeting with Otterbein.
Case Western Reserve will be continuing a stretch of four-straight road games to start the season this weekend. The Spartans are averaging 48.0 points over their first two games, shooting 29.7% overall and 19.0% from long range, while allowing 61.5 points per game. Sophomore guard/ forward Abbey Lawrence is leading the team with 18.0 points per game on 50.0% shooting overall and 36.4% from three-point range, while first-year guard/ forward Isabella Mills is averaging 7.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per contest, and junior forward Emma Cain has scored 7.0 points per game with a team-leading 6.5 rebounds per contest.
The Spartans are under the leadership of 13th-year Head Coach Jennifer Reimer. She currently holds a 296-263 record over her 22 years as a head coach, with 139 of her victories coming at CWRU. Reimer is assisted by Kelly Muffley, Erin Gdaniec and Kara Hageman.
Washington & Jefferson, which went 20-9 in 2018-19, opened its season on Tuesday with a 61-57 win at home against LaRoche. Alie Seto led the Presidents in the game with 22 points and 20 rebounds, while Maddie Guitierrez contributed 14 points off the bench. W&J shot 39.3% as a team, including 12.5% from three-point range in the game.
The Presidents are coached by Jina DeRubbo, a 1994 graduate of Concord, who is now 431-183 during her 23 seasons as a collegiate head coach, including a 300-126 mark at Washington and Jefferson. She is assisted by Maeve Gallagher, Vicki Staton, and Ashley Mikelonis.
This will be the first meeting between the Spartans and the Presidents since 2016, when CWRU earned an 80-74 win over Washington and Jefferson. Seniors Alicia Marie Gonzales and Kendall McConico were the only two Spartans on the roster at the time, with Gonzales starting and scoring three points with two rebounds, and McConico coming off the bench to score eight points and collect six rebounds. CWRU is 5-3 all-time against the Presidents.
Otterbein will be opening its 2019-20 season against Carnegie Mellon at the tournament on Friday night, before facing the Spartans on Saturday. The Cardinals completed their 2018-19 season with a 16-11 overall record, but are losing their top-two scorers from the campaign in Dani Kissel (19.2 ppg) and Ali Cartnal (15.9 ppg). Abbie Scholz, who averaged 7.5 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game, is slated to be one of the top returning players for a team that averaged 69.1 points per game and allowed 63.9 per contest.
The Cardinals are under the leadership of Diana Noles, a 2004 graduate of Otterbein. She is in her first season at the team's helm after spending the previous seven years as the program's lead assistant.
The Spartans are 4-4 all-time against Otterbein. The two teams last faced each other during the 2017-18 campaign, with the Cardinals coming away with an 84-62 victory. McConico scored 17 points and collected four assists for the Spartans in the loss.
- The Spartans last played in the Springhill Suites Tournament in 2016. CWRU won the tournament, with Kara Hageman earning Most Valuable Player honors and Hillary Hellmann claiming a spot on the all-tournament team. The Spartans topped Washington & Jefferson and LaRoche during tournament play in 2016.
- Emma Cain recorded the first double-double of her career with 14 points and 10 rebounds against Kenyon on Tuesday night. The 10 rebounds also marked a career-high for Cain, surpassing her previous career-best mark of nine against Chicago on February 18, 2018. Her 10 rebounds in the game also pushed her over 200 for her career.
- Abbey Lawrence has led the Spartans in scoring in each of the team's first two games this season. Against Albion, she registered a career-high 21 points, surpassing her previous career-high of 19 points against Carnegie Mellon on January 5, 2019. She added a 15-point effort against Kenyon on Tuesday.
- Isabella Mills collected six steals during the team's season-opening game against Albion, and is averaging 4.0 steals per game through her first two collegiate contests.
- Alicia Marie Gonzales is currently 10 assists shy of 200 for her career. She currently is ranked 14th in program history in career assists.