Potent Offense Powers Women’s Basketball to First Win in Home Opener

McKenna Gross goes for a layup against Waynesburg

Playing in its first game of the season at Horsburgh Gymnasium in Cleveland, Ohio, Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team picked up its first win of the season with an offensive outburst, defeating Waynesburg University 96-79 on Tuesday night. The Spartans improve to 1-4 on the season, while the Yellow Jackets drop to 0-3. The 96 points are the most in a single game for the program since December 20, 2018, when the team scored 102 against Eastern University.

First-year guard/forward Isabella Mills set career highs with 18 points and 11 rebounds, recording the first double-double of her career. Leading all scorers with 19 points was sophomore guard/forward Abbey Lawrence, making six of her 13 shots. First-year guard McKenna Gross added a career-high 15 points, was a perfect nine-for-nine from the free throw line and contributed a team-high five assists.  

The Spartans opened up an early 13-2 lead just three and a half minutes into the game with Lawrence scoring nine of the team's points. The Yellow Jackets cut the deficit to six with four minutes to go in the first quarter, 15-9, the Spartans' smallest advantage of the game. At the end of the first quarter, Case Western Reserve led 26-19.

CWRU started the second quarter with a 14-2 run to increase its lead to 19 just three minutes into the quarter. The Spartans were on fire from the field, starting the period seven-for-eight from the field and finished the half shooting 65.6%. With 3:41 left in the first half, Gross gave CWRU its first 20-point lead of the game, making two free throws to put the score at 49-28. Less than a minute later, Gross made two more from the line to put the advantage at 23. Waynesburg cut into the lead and at the half, the Spartans held a 57-37 advantage. 

With a 14-5 run to start the third quarter, the Yellow Jackets cut the deficit to 11, 62-51. After a slow start to the third, CWRU found its shooting form later in the quarter, pushing the lead to 74-53 with 1:37 left in the period on a three-pointer from Mills. The score stood at 76-56 at the end of the third quarter.

In the final frame, the Spartans opened up a 29-point lead, the team's largest advantage of the night, with a 14-5 run. Waynesburg responded with a 10-2 to close the gap, but the Spartans' lead was insurmountable as the team completed the wire-to-wire win, 96-79.

Case Western Reserve shot a scorching 51.6% from the field on the night, including 35.0% from three-point range and 83.3% from the foul line. The Spartans were dominant in the post, outrebounding the Yellow Jackets 44-32.

Next up for the Spartans is a trip to Alliance, Ohio for the Mount Union Tournament on Friday, November 22 and Saturday, November 23. CWRU faces sixth-ranked Hope College (4-0) at 8 p.m. on Friday to start the two-day tournament.