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Women’s basketball opens season 1-1

Courtesy of CWRU Athletics
The CWRU women’s basketball team starts their season strong with a 69-49 win against Waynesburg University.

The Case Western Reserve University women’s basketball team started their non-conference play with a 69-49 win on the road over Waynesburg University on Nov. 11 followed by a 45-73 loss against Marietta College in their home opener. With two new grad transfers, this team has a new and exciting dynamic. We are excited to see how they continue to play as their season develops.

The Spartans started the game against Waynesburg down four after Waynesburg’s Mia Henkins scored four points within the first 30 seconds of the first quarter. CWRU scored their first points of the night after fourth-year forward Kayla Characklis finished a layup with 8:31 remaining in the first quarter. This was quickly followed by another two points by the Yellow Jackets, leaving the Spartans trailing by four once again. Characklis answered once again with a layup, but a 3-pointer by Henkins and a layup left the Spartans trailing by 7 with 5:02 left in the first quarter. The Spartans did not give up and were able to quickly bounce back once graduate student forward Morgan Micallef scored her first points of the night with a successful jumper followed by a 3-pointer, leaving the score 9-16 with 3:35 remaining. The Spartans continued to go on a 9-1 run until the end of the first quarter, and during that time, a 3-pointer by fourth-year guard Margaret Terry gave them the first lead of the night with 1:27 remaining.

The game remained close during the second quarter. A successful 3-pointer by a Yellow Jacket gave Waynesburg the lead to which third-year forward Evie Miller quickly responded, tying the game 20-20 with 9:29 seconds remaining. The Spartans took back the lead when Micallef scored 2 points with 6:09 left, making the score 26-24. Although the lead changed three times during this quarter, the Spartans once again ended the second quarter on top.

After halftime, the Spartans came back on the court strong and never lost the lead again. They were able to maintain the lead throughout the entire third quarter, leading by 13 after a good jumper by first-year guard Mya Hartjes with 17 seconds left in the quarter. At the start of the last 10 minutes of the game, third-year guard Nyah Moore completed a 3-pointer followed by another successful 3-pointer from Terry, giving the Spartans an even bigger lead with 7:54 remaining. But the Spartans did not lose their stamina, and they continued to go on a 4-0 run with two more successful shots by Miller and fourth-year guard Sarah Mitchell, giving them a 23-point lead with 5:59 left on the clock. The Yellow Jackets tried to come back, managing to make it a 14-point difference with 2:04 left on the clock. However, a good layup by fourth-year forward/center Preet Gill followed by a layup and a free throw shot by first-year guard/forward Maura Schorr ended the game at 69-49, giving the Spartans their first win of the season.

The Spartans shot 35.1% from the field goal range, 19.4% from the 3-point line and 68.8% in free throws compared to the Yellow Yacket’s 26.6%, 24% and 40.9%, respectively. Micallef was the leading scorer of the game with 15 points and incredible accuracy (6-9 from the field goal range and 1-1 from the 3-point line). Characklis added 7 points and 11 rebounds, and Hartjes scored 14 with 4 assists.

On Nov. 13, CWRU fell to Marietta College in its home opener, dropping to a 1-1 season record. The Spartans started the first quarter with a layup by Characklis, giving them a two-point lead. But that would be the only lead that they would have for the remainder of the game. A jumper by Olivia Gribble from the opposing team tied the game with 8:55 left in the first quarter, and another jumper gave the Pioneers the lead. CWRU tried closing the gap for the remaining part of the first quarter but were still down by 3 to start the second quarter. With a slow start, the Pioneers made the first points of the second quarter with a successful 3-pointer, leaving the Spartans trailing by 6. Marietta took their biggest lead of the half, leading by 9 with 5:32 left. CWRU managed to bring the deficit down to 4 after Characklis and Miller successfully completed a layup and a 3-pointer, respectively. The Spartans continued to struggle into the third quarter and even though they managed to get as close as 3 points after a jumper by Micallef, they ended the third quarter 17 points down. In the end, CWRU was unable to catch up with Marietta, and the game ended with a jumper by Layla Lammert of the opposing team, leaving the score 73-45.

Characklis led the team with 9 points and 7 rebounds. Mitchell added 7 points and 3 rebounds. The team shot 26.7% from the field goal range, 7.4% from the 3-point line and 73.3% from the freethrow line.

With a win and a loss, the team will be facing Penn State Harrisburg in the Pablo Coto Tip-Off Tournament on Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. and will be playing in the Consolation/Championship game the day after. With new players on the court, we hope this team continues to bring the energy as they face their new opponents in the coming weeks.

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