Women’s basketball defeats Rochester, falls to Emory


Courtesy of CWRU Athletics

Second-year guard/forward Lucy Vanderbeck scores 11 points, helping CWRU secure a long-awaited victory against the University of Rochester

Paola Van der Linden Costello, Staff Writer

The Case Western Reserve University women’s basketball team celebrated a win against No. 25 University of Rochester on Friday, Feb. 10 but suffered a loss against Emory University on Sunday, Feb. 12. The team moved to 14-8 overall and 5-6 in the University Athletic Association conference, leaving CWRU at No. 6 in the conference standings. 

The win against Rochester was especially meaningful as CWRU recorded their first win over a ranked team since 2020 and their first win over Rochester since 2014. Though the Spartans struggled to make their baskets the last time they faced the YellowJackets on the road, the Spartans dominated on offense at home. 

Fourth-year guard/forward Isabella Mills led all players with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists, notching her third double-double of the season and the 10th of her career. The team shot 44.4% overall and had 42 rebounds and 17 assists total. 

The first quarter started with both teams trading 3-pointers to even the score 3-3. The Spartans took their first lead of the night after Mills made another 3-pointer with 5:53 remaining in the first quarter. Maintaining incredible ball movement, the Spartans finished the first quarter up 27-16 led by Mills going 3/4 from 3-point range and bringing in 11 points. 

The YellowJackets trailed the entire second quarter as well, only cutting the lead to 6 after a layup was made with 5:14 left in this quarter. However, after second-year guard/forward Lucy Vanderbeck made a 3-point jump shot with 4:49 left, the Spartans finished the half up 40-28.

CWRU’s largest lead of the night came in the third quarter with 39 seconds left after first-year guard/forward Emily Plachta hit two free throws for the 58-40 Spartan advantage. The third quarter ended with the Spartans being up a 14 point lead, and the YellowJackets, once again, failing to catch up. 

Third-year forward Kayla Characklis led the dominant fourth quarter with 11 points and 4 rebounds. Characklis’s jumper sealed the game as the Spartans won it 78-60. 

“We knew we were better than that and we knew we had something to prove,” said Characklis about how important this game was to the team, especially after the 24-point loss last time. “We came in strong and kept it going.”

The Spartans celebrated Senior Day on Sunday in their game against Emory and honored Mills and fourth-year guard Claire Poulton. Second-year forward Evie Miller led the team with 10 points and Mills with 6 rebounds. It was a low scoring game for the Spartans, only scoring 48 points by the end of the game. The team shot just 27.1% from the field goal range compared to Emory’s 57.4%, ultimately leading to their demise. 

The Spartans had their largest lead of the night in the first quarter after Characklis made a layup. However, the Eagles quickly caught up and made it difficult on offense for CWRU. By the end of the first quarter the Spartans were down by 9, a gap that grew to 19 by the end of the first half. Despite attempts made to catch up, CWRU couldn’t close the gap. The Eagles had their largest lead of the night with 5:16 remaining in the game and ultimately won 79-48.

The Spartans will conclude their season on the road, facing Washington University in St. Louis on Feb. 17, the University of Chicago on Feb. 19 and Carnegie Mellon University on Feb. 25.