Women’s Basketball Falls Short in Tight Battle with Rochester, 58-54

Women’s Basketball Falls Short in Tight Battle with Rochester, 58-54

The Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team fell to the University of Rochester 58-54 on Friday night at Horsburgh Gymnasium in Cleveland, Ohio. The Spartans drop to 10-13 on the season and 5-7 in the University Athletic Association. Rochester improves to 11-12 and 5-7 in the UAA.

Sophomore guard/forward Abbey Lawrence led the Spartans with 15 points, collected five rebounds, and added two assists and two steals. First-year guard McKenna Gross scored 14 points, including 10 in the second half, while first-year guard/forward Isabella Mills collected a team-high 11 rebounds and added six points.

In a low-scoring start to the game, the Spartans trailed 9-3 midway through the first quarter. The team responded with a 7-0 run over the last five minutes of the quarter to pull ahead 10-9 heading into the first break.

Mills started the second quarter with two consecutive layups to extend the Spartan lead to five and a layup from sophomore forward Olivia Perkins capped a 13-0 run for Case Western Reserve, as the Spartans led 16-9 just two minutes into the second quarter. The Yellowjackets responded with a 12-4 run to take a one-point lead with three minutes left in the first half. Senior guard Kendall McConico made a free throw to tie the game at 21, but the Yellowjackets used a 5-0 run to lead 26-21 at the half.  

CWRU cut the deficit to two, 34-32, with a layup from Gross with four minutes left in the third quarter. The teams traded three-pointers, but Rochester pulled ahead 40-35 at the end of the third quarter. 

First-year guard Alyssa Hyland made a three-pointer to open the scoring in the fourth quarter and cut the Rochester lead to two. The Yellowjackets responded with a 10-4 run to extend their advantage to eight. The Spartans scored 10 straight points, including a three-pointer from Gross and a three-point play from Lawrence, to take a two-point lead, 52-50, with under three minutes left in the game. Rochester responded with a three-pointer on the ensuing possession to reclaim the advantage.

A layup from graduate student forward Melissa Heath put the Spartans back on top 54-53 with 1:45 to go. A Rochester jumper put the visitors ahead 55-54. With 12.5 seconds to go, the Yellowjackets made a free throw to go ahead by three, 57-54. A potential game-tying three-pointer from the Spartans was blocked, and Rochester made a free throw to clinch the win.  

On Sunday, February 23, the Spartans will host Emory for their final home game of the season at 2 p.m. Prior to the start of Sunday's game, the Spartans will be honoring McConico, Heath, and senior guard Alicia Marie Gonzales, who will each be playing in the final home game of their collegiate careers.