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Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

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Women’s basketball goes 0-2 over weekend, drops to 8-8

Conference play continues to be a challenge for the Case Western Reserve University women’s basketball team. The Spartans fell to Emory University 55-61 on Jan. 19 and to the University of Rochester 62-82 on Jan. 21. CWRU now stands at an overall record of 8-8 and an underwhelming 1-4 record for their University Athletic Association record.

The Spartans opened the Emory game on fire, going on a 10-1 run to take a 10-3 lead following a made 3-pointer from graduate student forward Kate Montgomery. CWRU ended the first quarter with an 18-14 lead, but the Eagles amped up their effort to tie the score at 25-25 with less than six minutes left in the half. The Spartans remained right behind Emory but multiple defensive errors allowed the Eagles to take a 36-27 lead into halftime.

Emory continued to roll in the second half and extended their lead to 44-33. The Spartans did not back down and tightened up their defense in the fourth quarter to cut their deficit to 40-44 following a 3-pointer from first-year guard Mya Hartjes. With just under five minutes left, fourth-year forward Kayla Characklis hit back-to-back layups for the 51-50 score. Characklis went on a tear, scoring 10 straight points to put the Spartans in front for the first time since the first quarter. However, the 55-52 CWRU lead did not faze the Eagles. Emory scored on the very next possession and hit a couple free throws to regain a 1-point lead. The Spartans were unable to respond, and Emory finished the game with a 6-point lead.

The Spartans shot better than Emory (38% to 32.3% overall, 35.3% to 11.8% from the 3-point line) but were destroyed on the offensive rebounds (8 to the Eagles’ 20), which translated to a 16-3 advantage in second-chance points for Emory.

Fourth-year Characklis led all scorers with 20 points after shooting 10-of-19 overall, 6-of-10 free 3-point range to go along with 3 assists and 4 rebounds. Hartjes finished with a career high 14 points, including a career best 4 3-pointers along with 3 rebounds and 3 assists.

Characklis came out roaring against Rochester, scoring 8 of the first 10 points for CWRU to give them the 10-6 lead halfway through the first quarter. Unfortunately, the YellowJackets found their rhythm and pulled together an impressive 12-0 run for the 18-10 lead. Hartjes and fourth-year guard Sarah Mitchell trimmed Rochester’s lead to 21-17 with a 3-pointer and a few free throws, respectively, by the end of the first quarter. Third-year guard/forward Lucy Vanderbeck opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer to bring CWRU within a point, but the Spartan defense couldn’t hold off the YellowJackets, who ended the half with a 7-0 run for the 44-32 lead heading into halftime.

The YellowJackets dominated for the rest of the game, with their largest lead of the game coming at 23 points in the fourth quarter before winning the game with a 20-point lead.

Rochester held the advantage in the shooting stats (47.8% to 33.3% overall, 26.3% to 25% from beyond the arc). Again, the Spartans were outplayed on second-chance points (7 to 24) and points off turnovers (9 to 18).

Characklis had another brilliant game, matching her career high in points with 22 on 9-of-16 shooting to go with 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 block. Mitchell contributed 8 points and led CWRU with 7 rebounds along with 4 assists and 4 steals.

The Spartans will conclude their four-game road trip across the UAA conference against the University of Chicago on Jan. 26 and against Washington University in St. Louis on Jan. 28.

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About the Contributor
Puneet Bansal, Sports Editor
Puneet Bansal (she/her) is a fourth-year student majoring in biochemistry and medical anthropology. She loves obsessing over food, spending time outdoors or annoying her friends. Hailing from the Bay Area, she is an ardent Golden State Warriors fan and finds it daunting to sport her Stephen Curry jersey around Cleveland.

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