Spartans End Non-Conference Schedule with 71-51 Win over Chatham

Abbey Lawrence launches a three during the Spartans' win over Chatham.

The Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team capped off its non-conference schedule on Thursday night with its third-straight win, claiming a 71-51 victory over Chatham University at Horsburgh Gymnasium in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Spartans remained undefeated on their home court this season with the win, improving to 4-0 at Horsburgh and to 5-6 overall. Chatham dropped to 7-3 overall with the loss, its second-straight loss and third setback in the last four games.

Sophomore guard/ forward Abbey Lawrence led all scorers in the game with 20 points, including 14 in the second half.  She connected on eight of her 18 shots, including three-of-five from behind the arc. It was her second-straight 20-point effort and her sixth total through 11 games this year.

Graduate student forward Melissa Heath added nine points and eight rebounds, while first-year guard/ forward Isabella Mills finished the game with eight points and a team-leading 13 rebounds.  Senior guard Alicia Marie Gonzales dished out a career-high 10 assists on Thursday.

The Spartans opened the game on a 13-2 run, grabbing an 11-point lead on a layup by junior forward Emma Cain with 4:37 to play in the first period. A fast break three pointer by sophomore guard Alyssa Hyland gave the Spartans their largest lead of the quarter, 20-8, with 1:24 to go, and CWRU would close out the period ahead by 10, 20-10.

After shooting 56.3% (nine-of-16) during the first quarter, the Spartans cooled off in the second period, and Chatham took advantage, taking their first lead of the game, 23-22, with 2:51 left in the half on a three-pointer by Nicole Mellinger. The Spartans would regain the lead on a three pointer by Mills with just over a minute remaining in the second quarter, and a jumper by Lawrence in the closing minute allowed CWRU to take a 29-28 advantage into halftime.

Chatham scored the first seven points of the third quarter, taking its largest lead of the game, 35-29. However, the Spartans responded with a run of their own, scoring the next 12 points unanswered.  CWRU took the lead back on a three pointer by Lawrence with 6:09 left in the period, and a layup by Hyland capped off the 12-point run and gave CWRU a 41-35 lead with 4:02 remaining in the third.  Chatham would again tie the score at 41-41, but an 8-0 spurt to end the period gave the Spartans a 49-41 lead heading into the final quarter.

Three pointers by Hyland and Mills early in the fourth quarter helped the Spartans build a 12-point lead with 7:14 to go in the game.  CWRU maintained a double-digit lead for the remainder of the game, going up by as many as 21 points, 69-48, on a three-point shot by sophomore guard/ forward Alexa Hsia with 1:27 to play, en route to closing out the 20-point win.

The Spartans finished the game shooting 42.9% (30-of-70), marking the third time this season they have shot over 40.0% in a game.  Meanwhile, the CWRU defense held Chatham to just 28.2% shooting and forced 13 turnovers.

With their non-conference schedule now complete, the Spartans will turn their attention towards their 14-game University Athletic Association scheduled, which will begin next weekend. Case Western Reserve will open conference play at home against Carnegie Mellon University on Saturday, January 11 at 2:00 p.m.