Spartans Edged by Tartans in 2OT, 71-70, in Season Finale

McKenna Gross goes for a layup against Waynesburg

Despite a combined 34 points from first-year players McKenna Gross and Isabella Mills, and a 16-point effort by senior guard Kendall McConico in the final game of her collegiate career, the Spartans fell just short in double overtime on Saturday, suffering a 71-70 defeat to Carnegie Mellon University in the team's season-finale in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

With the loss, the Spartans end their 2019-20 campaign with an overall record of 10-15, including a 5-9 record in University Athletic Association games, tying for fifth in the final league standings. Carnegie Mellon ended its season with an 11-14 overall record, including a 4-10 mark in UAA contests, good for seventh place.

Gross came off the bench to score a season-high 19 points in the final game of her first year of college basketball, making five-of-13 shots overall, including three-of-nine from behind the three point line. McConico added a season-high 16 points to go along with four rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals. Mills chipped in 15 points and collected a team-high nine rebounds.

Junior forward Emma Cain added eight points for the Spartans, including a layup with three seconds left in regulation that knotted the score at 58-58, and eventually sent the game into overtime. Each team would make just one basket in the first overtime, and with the score tied at 60-60, the game went into a second extra period.

Three pointers by Mills and McConico helped the Spartans take a 68-64 lead with 2:21 left in the second overtime frame, but five unanswered points by Carnegie Mellon put the Tartans ahead 69-68 with 1:22 to go. Gross converted a pair of free throws with just 22 second remaining in the period, putting CWRU back in front 70-69, but the Tartans' Megan Jaeb hit a layup with 12 seconds left that gave Carnegie Mellon a 71-70 advantage.

CWRU had one last chance to win the game, but a jumper by Mills just before the buzzer missed the mark.

Saturday's game was played close throughout. Neither team possessed a double-figure lead at any point and the contest featured 15 ties and 14 lead changes. The Spartans led 15-14 in the game after the opening quarter, and maintained a two-point advantage until the midway point of the second period, leading 21-19. However, the Tartans closed the period on a 13-2 run to carry a 32-23 advantage into halftime.

Case Western Reserve started the second half strong, going on a 7-0 run over the first four minutes of the period, and pulling back within two points on a jumper by McConico. CWRU eventually regained the lead with 3:51 left in the third on a Mills three-pointer, and took a 40-39 lead into the final period. A three on the first possession of the fourth by Gross pushed the Spartans lead back to four point, but Carnegie Mellon answered with a run of their own, going ahead by five points, 54-49, with 4:40 left in regulation. The Tartans were still up by five with 2:08 left in the game, but a three by McConico and two free throws by Gross knotted the score at 56-56. Carnegie Mellon's Makayla Filiere hit a jumper with 14 seconds left to give the Tartans the lead back briefly, before Cain's sent the contest into overtime with her game tying shot in the closing seconds.

The loss concludes the 2019-20 season for the Spartans, and also marks the final career game for three CWRU players – McConico, senior point guard Alicia Marie Gonzales and graduate student forward Melissa Heath.