Sometimes the hardest roadblocks to overcome for a team are not part of the game itself. They may just be fatigue from traveling long distances on the road.
The Case Western Reserve University women’s basketball team began their University Athletic Association games with three losses to tough opponents. The Spartans dropped a game at home against Carnegie Mellon University 69-57, lost 84-41 to then-No. 7 University of Rochester and 64-47 to Emory University, dropping their overall record to 3-10. In all three games, the Spartans failed to make more than 30 percent of their shots.
In the first game against the Carnegie Mellon Tartans, the Tartans went on a 15-4 run during the middle of the second quarter to finish the half with a 16 point lead. The Spartans managed to cut the lead down to four points, 59-55, at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but an 8-0 run by the Tartans clinched the victory.
Third-year veteran forward Hillary Hellmann led the team with a season-high 25 points and eight rebounds, making four of her seven three-pointers, while third-year veteran guard Alexis Amburgey finished with 12 points.
At Rochester, the Yellowjackets secured a 31-2 lead after the first quarter. Coming into the game, the Yellowjackets had an impressive 11-1 record and they backed it up with their play. The Spartans would go on an 11-0 run in the fourth led by first-year rookie guard Emily Todd, but the lead was too much to overcome. Todd ended the game with 18 points, and first-year rookie guard Jasmine Floyd had a career-high six assists.
Determined to bounce back in Atlanta after consecutive crushing defeats, the Spartans started with a 10-2 run in the first quarter against Emory. First-year rookie forwards Emma Cain and Rebecca Rowlands combined for 10 points in the quarter.
However, the Eagles would go on a 12-0 run in the second quarter, ending the half with an 11 point lead, 33-23. In the third, the Eagles would extend their lead to 19, while Cain and Rowland scored the Spartans only eight points of the quarter. Three-pointers by Hellmann, Todd and second-year returning guard Alicia Marie Gonzales were not able to cut down the lead. Hellmann finished with nine points and nine rebounds.
Cain has been stepping up as of late, posting six rebounds and a career-high 12 points against Emory and 10 points with eight rebounds against the Tartans. Cain’s playing time has increased as well, and she earned a starting spot against Emory.
The Spartans will look to break their seven-game losing streak at home against Washington University in St. Louis on Friday, Jan. 19 at 6 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 21 at 2 p.m. against the University of Chicago.