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Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

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Spartans go perfect on homestand, improve to 5-3

The Case Western Reserve University’s women’s basketball team wrapped up its non-conference home schedule with two games, improving to 5-3 after two consecutive wins at Horsburgh Gymnasium. This also marks a three-game win streak for this team. After beating Allegheny College 73-55 the week prior, they defeated University of Mount Union 63-59 on Nov. 28 and Kenyon College 72-29 on Dec. 1.

The Spartans were quickly down 2 after a layup from Mount Union but that deficit didn’t last long, as a free throw by fourth-year forward Kayla Characklis and a jumper by fourth-year guard Sarah Mitchell put CWRU back in front. After taking the lead with 8:28 left in the first quarter, the Spartans remained ahead for most of the game. In fact, a jumper by Characklis and a 3-pointer by third-year guard/forward Emily Plachta had the Spartans up by 4 only a minute after.

Mount Union tried to recover and tied the score 8-8 with 5:35 left on the clock, but that was the closest they would get to taking the lead for the rest of the game. On the next two possessions, Mitchell made two layups which gave the Spartans a 4-point lead.

The Spartans took the largest lead of the quarter of 12 after two free throws by Plachta. Throughout the rest of the game, Mount Union tried to catch up, getting as close as 4 points with 3:18 left in the third quarter after a three pointer. However, the Spartans continued with their good gameplay and were up by 10 at the end of the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the Spartans obtained their largest lead of the quarter with 7:17 remaining after two good free throws by Mitchell gave them a 14-point advantage. However, Mount Union recovered and reached within 2 points with 12 seconds left on the clock.

After a foul on Mitchell with 11 seconds remaining and two successful free throws, the Spartans took a 4-point lead which ultimately gave them the win of the night. Mitchell led both teams with 16 points and 7 rebounds. Characklis added her first double-double of the season and ninth of her career with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Plachta also added 13 points and 3 rebounds. The team shot overall 43.1% (22-51) from the field goal range and 23.1% (6-26) from the 3-point line.

The Spartans outperformed Kenyon on the court Friday night, marking the greatest win difference of the season with a finishing score of 72-29. First-year guard Jordyn Call led all players with 16 points and added 3 rebounds. She shot 75% from the field goal range and 66% from the 3-point line. She also contributed to almost half of the bench points obtained by the team. Characklis added 14 points and 3 rebounds to the game. Mitchell and Plachta had 8 and 7 points, respectively. The team shot 48.3% (28-58) from the field and 47.4% (9-19) from 3-point range, significantly more than Kenyon who only managed to score 24% (12-50) from the field goal range and 7.7% (1-13) from beyond the arc.

The game started with a 3-pointer by Plachta followed by another by graduate student forward/center Kate Montgomery, giving the Spartans a 6-0 lead within the first 90 seconds of the game. By the end of the first quarter, the Spartans were up 16, a lead that kept growing into the second quarter.

By the end of the half, a 3-point shot by third-year guard/forward Lucy Vanderbeck gave the Spartans a 34-point lead. The Spartans were able to continue scoring consistently with 44 points in the first half and 28 more in the second half. The Spartans also took advantage of the opportunities the Owls were giving them, scoring 19 in points from  turnovers. Ultimately, this team dominated Kenyon on all fronts.

The Spartans will be traveling to Granville, Ohio for a 1 p.m. game against Denison University on Saturday Dec. 9. They will then take a break until the D3December Clasico hosted in Puerto Rico where they will be facing Emmanuel College on Dec. 20 and Norwich University on Dec. 21 before starting their conference play in January.

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