The Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team will be back in Cleveland this weekend, as the team begins the second half of its conference schedule by hosting Brandeis University and New York University at historic Adelbert Gymnasium for CWRU's annual Throwback Weekend. The Spartans will tip off against the Judges on Friday, February 7 at 6:00 p.m., and will take on the Violets on Sunday, February 9 at 8:00 p.m.
vs. Brandeis (Friday, February 7 · 6 p.m.)
Live stats: https://athletics.case.edu/sports/wbkb/2019-20/boxscores/20200207_3lf8.xml
vs. NYU (Sunday, February 9 · 2:00 p.m.)
Live stats: https://athletics.case.edu/sports/wbkb/2019-20/boxscores/20200209_wpkc.xml
Case Western Reserve University will be celebrating its annual Throwback Weekend during its games this weekend, as the Spartans will honor the heritage and tradition of the University. The women's team will be wearing 'Throwback' uniforms from Mather College, and all games will be played at Historic Adelbert Gymnasium.
For more information on the weekend's events, go to https://athletics.case.edu/sports/mbkb/2019-20/releases/20200204ln3sq4.
Case Western Reserve will enter the weekend with a 10-8 overall record, including a perfect 7-0 mark at home this season. The Spartans are 5-2 in conference games this year, sit tied with Emory for second place in the league, one game behind first-place Chicago. The Spartans swept their UAA road weekend last week, defeating Brandeis 60-68 and NYU 87-75.
The team is averaging 68.3 points per game this season on 40.5% shooting overall and 29.6% from three-point range, while allowing 68.2 points per contest. The Spartans' leading scorer is sophomore guard/ forward Abbey Lawrence, who is averaging 17.8 points per game, while first-year guard/ forward Isabella Mills is scoring 9.8 points per game and leading the team with 7.1 rebounds per contest, while graduate student forward Melissa Heath has added 9.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game.
The Spartans are under the leadership of Head Coach Jennifer Reimer, who currently holds a 306-269 record over her 23 years as a head coach, with 149 of her victories coming during her 13 seasons at CWRU. Reimer is assisted by Kelly Muffley, and former Spartan standouts Erin Gdaniec and Kara Hageman.
Brandeis stands at 12-6 overall on the season, including a 5-2 ledger in road games. Five of the team's six losses this year have come during their seven conference games, as the Judges sit at 2-5 and in a tie for sixth place in the UAA. Brandeis is coming off a pair of losses at home last weekend, including the loss to the Spartans and a 73-63 setback against Carnegie Mellon last Sunday.
The Judges average 73.2 points per game this season, and are shooting 40.3% overall and 34.3% from behind the three point line. Defensively, the team has allowed 63.5 points per game this season. The Judges are also the second-best free throw shooting team in the country, shooting 78.2% from the line as a team this season. Brandeis has a pair of players averaging over 10 points per game this season, with junior guard Camila Casanueva leading the way with 13.8 points, and senior forward Hannah Nicholson adding 11.8 points per contest. Nicholson also averages a league-high 9.6 rebounds per game.
Brandeis is under the leadership of Head Coach Carol Simon, who is now in her 33rd season with the team, and has a career record of 453-379. She is assisted by Associate Head Coach Scott Foulis and assistant coaches Aseem Rastogi and Chelsea Houlihan.
The Spartans have won each of the last four meetings against the Judges, including both matchups last season and last Friday's game. Lawrence scored a career-high 30 points during Friday's game, and Heath added 25 points off the bench, to lead the Spartans to the win in Waltham last weekend. The Spartans shot a perfect 22-of-22 from the free throw line as a team in the game.
Last year, CWRU claimed a 67-64 victory at home against Brandeis on January 13, 2019, and then completed the season sweep with a 67-55 road win on February 10, 2019. Former Spartans Hillary Hellmann (21.5 points, 8.5 rebounds) and Kara Hageman (15.5 points, 12.5 rebounds) led the team over the two games, while current junior forward Emma Cain added 8.0 points and 4.5 rebounds per game during the two contests against the Judges. CWRU is 21-32 all-time against Brandeis.
NYU will enter the weekend with a 14-4 overall record, including an 5-2 mark on the road, and will play at Carnegie Mellon on Friday night before facing the Spartans on Sunday. The Violets are currently in fourth place in the conference standings with a 4-3 league record. The team split its two game last weekend at home, defeating Carnegie Mellon 71-49 on Friday night, and suffering the loss to CWRU on Sunday afternoon.
NYU is the top scoring team in the UAA and the 13th-highest scoring team in all of Division III, averaging 79.6 points per game. The team is shooting 42.7% from the floor and 35.0% from three-point range, while allowing 63.6 points per contest this season. The Violets are also second in Division III with a 1.36 assist-to-turnover ratio and sixth with 18.7 assists per game. Junior guard Janean Cuffee leads the UAA with 21.1 points per game this season (11th in DIII), while first-year guard Brooklyn Shelton has added 13.9 points per contest and leads all Division III players with a 93.1% mark from the free throw line. Senior guard Annie Barrett has paced Division III with 7.5 assists per game this season.
The Violets are coached by Meg Barber, who is now in her second season with the team, and has led the squad to a 31-14 record. She is assisted by Nettie Respondek, Audrey Cunningham, Taysha Pye and Emiko Smith.
Case Western Reserve is 13-40 all-time against NYU, but has won five of the last eight meetings between the two teams, including last weekend's victory. In last Sunday's game in New York, Lawrence led all scorers with 28 points, while Heath added 21 and senior guard Alicia Marie Gonzales netted a career-high 12 points. CWRU finished the game shooting a season-high 54.2% from the floor.
Last year, each team claimed a win on their home court, as the Spartans picked up a 72-62 win in Cleveland, and NYU came away with an 83-72 victory in New York. Hellman and Hageman each averaged 15.0 points per game in the two contests, while Lawrence came off the bench to score 10.5 points per game for CWRU.
- Abbey Lawrence was named the USBWA Division III Women's National Player of the Week this week, in recognition of her standout games against Brandeis and NYU. Lawrence became the second player in program history to secure the honor, joining former Spartan Kara Hageman, who received the award during the 2016-17 campaign.
- Lawrence was also named to the D3hoops.com Team of the Week for the second time this season and the UAA Athlete of the Week for women's basketball for the third time. She is the first Spartan in program history to be named to the D3hoops.com Team of the Week twice in a single season, and joins Hageman as the only players in team history to garner the honor multiple times over a career.
- Lawrence is averaging 17.8 points per game this season, the second-best mark among UAA players this year, and 71st among all Division III players. She is on pace to score 445 points this season, which would be the fifth-highest single-season total ever by a Spartan player.
- Lawrence has made 24 consecutive free throws, dating back to the Spartans' game against Chatham on January 2. She is one of two qualifying players in the conference to not miss a free throw in UAA play this season. Lawrence is 14th among Division III players and third in the UAA with an 87.7% mark from the free throw line this season.
- As a team, the Spartans are now shooting 74.8% from the free throw line this season, the third-best mark among conference teams and 22nd in all of Division III. CWRU has made 92-of-116 free throw attempts in conference play, good for the second-best percentage (80.2%) among UAA teams in league games.
- Of the Spartans' eight losses this season, four have come against teams that are either ranked are receiving votes in this week's D3hoops.com Top-25 (no. 1 Hope, John Carroll, Emory and Albion). The Spartans have one win over a nationally-ranked opponent this season, a 77-71 home win over 13th-ranked Chicago on January 19.
- Case Western Reserve has now won eight of their last 10 games, a stretch that began during the start of December.
- Melissa Heath leads all UAA players this season with a 55.8% field goal percentage, including a 55.4% mark in league games, and is on pace for the highest single-season field goal percentage in program history (Erin Rogalski set the current record with a mark of 53.9% in 2000-01). She is currently third among UAA players with 1.8 blocks per game, which also ranks as the 77th-best mark among Division III players this season, and her 33 blocks this year are the 11th-most in a single season in team history.
- The Spartans have won all seven of their home games this season, and have an eight-game home winning streak dating back to the end of last season. CWRU averages 81.4 points per game and allows 66.7 points per game at home.
- Senior guard Alicia Marie Gonzales has dished out 233 assists over her career, good for the ninth most in program history.