After opening the season 4-0, the Case Western Reserve University women’s basketball team suffered their first loss of the season against Ohio Northern University, 71-57.
Ohio Northern started hot in the first quarter, making four of seven threes while the Spartans failed to make any shots, missing all six of their attempted threes in the first quarter. Taking a 21-11 lead into the second quarter, the Polar Bears used their perimeter threats to space out the floor, which allowed easy cuts for layups. The Spartans called a timeout two minutes after their deficit reached 14 points. After the timeout, fourth-year forward Hillary Hellmann hit a three to trim the Polar Bears’ lead to 11. Both teams traded baskets for the rest of the quarter, and another three by Hellman cut the lead to 38-29 going into the half.
“We were really looking forward to playing [Ohio Northern,] … they were a really good three point shooting team, we worked hard on defense, but their shots just went in,” second-year guard Emily Todd said.
In the second half, Ohio Northern continued to swing the ball for open jump shots and worked their way into the paint, but the Spartans matched their scoring. It was a team effort to cut the lead, as six Spartans managed to score in the third quarter. Two threes from first-year guard Alyssa Hyland and a three from Hellmann forced the Polar Bears to call timeout with four minutes remaining in the third. The closest score was 50-48 after Hyland’s three, but the Spartans’ shots from the perimeter stopped falling after that.
On Hyland’s performance, Todd said: “Alyssa has been awesome, as a freshman, being confident and bringing positive energy [helps the team.]”
Both teams struggled to score in the fourth quarter, shooting a combined 10-for-36 from the court. The Spartans failed to score a basket after Todd’s jump shot to start the fourth quarter, as Ohio Northern went on a 15-2 run. Although Hellmann did hit a three with two minutes left in the game, the lead was too much for the Spartans to overcome.
“We had a rough shooting night … we’ve been working hard in practice and we’re proud of [applying] the things we worked on [in game],” Todd said.
Hellmann led the team in scoring with 17 points and nine rebounds, while graduate student forward Kara Hageman scored 16 points, five rebounds and three assists. Her four blocks made her one of five players to ever record 100 blocks in their career.
The Spartans will look to bounce back against Baldwin Wallace University this Saturday, Dec. 8 at home in Horsburgh Gymnasium.