Women’s basketball ends season victorious on Senior Day

The Case Western Reserve University women’s basketball team played their season finale against Carnegie Mellon University on Feb. 24. As part of Senior Day, CWRU recognized graduating seniors Kennedy Boone-Sautter, Kayla Characklis, Preet Gill, Margaret Terry and Sarah Mitchell as well as graduate students Morgan Micallef and Kate Montgomery.

The Spartans came in with a 10-14 record, coming off a 83-68 win against the University of Rochester for Throwback Weekend. The last time these two teams faced off, the Spartans had come away with a loss 62-82. But that was a road game for the Spartans. This time, CWRU would have home court advantage.

Although the Spartans had a shaky start and trailed close behind CMU, the Spartans sparked a 7-0 run to take an 18-15 lead before the end of the first period. It started with a rebound from third-year guard/forward Lucy Vanderbeck to feed an open first-year guard Mya Hartjes for a good 3-pointer, cutting the deficit to 14-15. Less than a minute later, guard Mitchell stole the ball for a fastbreak layup, and later she stole the ball again for a repeat layup, finishing the quarter 18-15.

After a made free throw and a fastbreak jumper from CMU, the score was tied 18-18. CWRU then initiated an 11-0 run, which was fueled by layups and free throws. After a good free throw from fourth-year guard/forward Boone-Sautter, Mitchell and guard Terry scored back-to-back layups. A three-pointer from Mitchell with 3:22 left in the half gave CWRU a 29-18 lead. The Spartans were able to end the first half with a 44-24 lead, as Mitchell made 8-of-9 shots in the first half for 20 points. Additionally, with 16 seconds left, Hartjes also made a three-pointer.

For the second half, CWRU kept at least a 15-point lead in the third quarter. With five seconds left in the quarter, a layup by forward Characklis gave CWRU a 56-35 lead heading into the fourth. Though the Tartans scored a fiery 17 points in the final period, CWRU held on for an impressive 63-52 win over CMU.

CWRU outshot CMU, shooting 39.7% from the field to their 33.3% as well as going 33.3% from beyond the arc while the Tartans shot an abysmal 8.7%. Though both teams had a similar amount of turnovers (12 for CWRU, 15 for CMU), the Spartans were able to capitalize more on them, scoring 16 points off turnovers to the Tartans’ 8.

The Spartan seniors contributed to 51 of the 63 points scored in the game. Most notably, Mitchell ended the game setting a new career high, scoring 27 points total with 12 rebounds and 5 steals.

The Spartans finished their season with an 11-14 overall record and 4-10 in the UAA, taking sixth place.

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