Case Western Reserve University jumped out to a quick double-digit lead on Sunday afternoon, and thwarted a late surge by New York University in an 87-75 win over the Violets in New York, New York. The win gives the Spartans a sweep of their UAA road weekend, including a win over Brandeis on Friday night.
With the win, the Spartans ended the first half of conference play with a 5-2 University Athletic Association record, and improved to 10-8 overall. CWRU remained just a game behind Chicago in the conference standings with the win.
NYU, which received votes in each of the most recent D3hoops.com and WBCA polls, dropped to 14-4 overall on the year with a 4-3 UAA record.
For the second-straight game, the Spartans' offense was powered by sophomore guard/ forward Abbey Lawrence and graduate student forward Melissa Heath, who each broke 20 points on the day and combined for 49 of the team's 87 total points in the game. Lawrence finished the game with 28 points, two shy of her career high of 30 that she set on Friday night against Brandeis. She shot nine-of-15 overall, including one-of-three from long range, and made all nine of her free throw tries, while adding seven rebounds, an assist, a steal, and two blocks.
Heath scored 21 points, making 10-of-16 shots from the floor, and collected a team-leading eight rebounds, in addition to a pair of assists, a steal and two blocks.
Senior guard Alicia Marie Gonzales matched her career-high with 12 points, connecting on three-of-five shots overall, all from long range, and making three-of-four tries from the free throw line.
CWRU shot a season-best 54.2% from the floor, making 32-of-59 shots overall, while connecting on eight-of-19 (42.1%) of their three-point attempts. The Spartans never trailed during Sunday's game, and led for all but 55 seconds of the contest.
The Spartans made 11 of their 17 shots (64.7%) in the opening period to take a 26-12 lead over NYU by the end of the frame. With the score tied at 6-6, CWRU went on a 20-2 run to take a 26-8 lead by the 1:04 mark in the period, with Heath scoring nine points during the stretch. Case Western Reserve maintained a double-digit lead for the entire second quarter, and took a 44-29 lead into the halftime break.
Gonzales opened the third quarter with a three to extend the Spartans' lead back to a game-high 18 points, but the Violets would chip away at the advantage and eventually cut it to eight points, 61-53, by the end of the period. NYU cut the lead down to five points with 8:37 left in the game, but a Lawrence responded with a quick three 15 seconds later to stop the momentum. NYU would not get any closer than seven points the rest of the way, and the Spartans connected on 12-of-15 free throws in the fourth quarter to secure the victory.
Case Western Reserve will return home next weekend to begin the second half of their conference schedule, as both Brandeis and NYU will be making the return trip to Cleveland. The Spartans will host the Judges on Friday, February 7 at 6:00 p.m. and the Violets at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 9 as a part of CWRU's annual Throwback Weekend. Both games will be played at Historic Adelbert Gymnasium, and the Spartans will don their Mather College throwback uniforms during the weekend.
More information on Throwback Weekend will be posted to athletics.case.edu during the week.