Spartans play with the best

Women’s basketball keeps up with nationally ranked team

Noah Crowley, Staff Reporter

The Spartans held their own when the women’s basketball team took on a nationally-ranked opponent to start the season. The team took on the 23rd ranked Ohio Northern University Polar Bears on Tuesday night. The game started close, with the Spartans clawing back from a six-point deficit in the first quarter to finish the period down by only one. However, after a second quarter collapse, the Polar Bears never again lost their advantage.

The first quarter was a battle, with the Polar Bears breaking open the game with a six-point lead. After that, the Spartans’ defense turned things around, keeping the ball from moving as much as it had been.

Eventually, CWRU tied the game up at 11. With momentum on their side, second-year student and guard Hillary Hellmann hit a three-point shot to give her team the edge at 14-11. The three was already her third of the game, and she would finish the game with four threes on seven attempts.

The second quarter was a complete break down for the Spartans, and the Polar Bears won the quarter 22-11 to take a 12-point lead. In the third, the two teams traded baskets, but at the end CWRU trailed by 14. The smallest deficit in the fourth quarter was 12 after Hellmann made good on two free throw attempts. However Ohio Northern did not let up and went on to win the fourth by 11 points and the game by 25 points, 89-64

Rebounds were the biggest factor in this game. Ohio Northern collected 19 more missed shots than CWRU, giving the team a huge lead in second chance points. The Polar Bears’ third-year center, Amy Bullimore, led her team with 20 rebounds, whereas the Spartans were led by third-year student and forward Kara Hageman with 11.

Another stat that showed the Polar Bears’ dominance was points in the paint. CWRU scored only 16 points down low while their opponent had their way under the basket, getting 44 points in that region alone. Bullimore was the main cause for this, as she scored most of her points near the basket and stayed strong when defending the painted area.

Bullimore led her team in both points and rebounds with 21 points and 20 rebounds, two stats that speak to the superior ability she showed throughout the matchup. For the Spartans, Hellmann led the team with 17 points, doing what she could to keep her team in the game.

The Spartans first home game goes down as a loss, but it still showed that they are capable of playing strong against nationally ranked teams. If they can piece that play together through four quarters, then they show a lot of promise. The team travels to Washington and Jefferson College to participate in the Springhill Suites Tournament this weekend, and then they come back home on Nov. 22 to play against Baldwin Wallace University.