Women’s basketball splits road games, stands 3-4 in UAA play


Courtesy of CWRU Athletics

Senior guard/forward Isabella Mills scored 30 points against Brandeis to lead the Spartans to victory.

Paola Van der Linden Costello, Staff Writer

The Case Western Reserve University women’s basketball team finished their non-conference play with a win against Hilbert University on Jan. 1. Their overall non-conference record was 9-2, a huge improvement from last season where they ended their non-conference play at 5-6. They also kicked off UAA play strong with a win against Carnegie Mellon University on Jan 7. This game was followed with two losses against Rochester University and Emory University, a win against Washington University and a loss against the University of Chicago. 

CWRU split their UAA games this past weekend with a 67-60 win against Brandeis and a 73-62 loss against NYU, leaving them with a 3-4 record in conference play and 12-6 overall. Last season, the team only won three conference games, a record the Spartans hope to overcome with their future games. 

Fourth-year guard and team captain Isabella Mills said, “I am really proud of the transition our team took from last year to this year. We came out strong in non-conference [play] and have continued that on in the UAA. Our team is closer than we have ever been before and I think that really contributes to our trust and communication with each other on the court. These have definitely allowed for us to compete in every UAA game thus for and I believe will lead to much success in the rest of this season.”

In their game against Washington on Jan 20, Mills set a new program record with 10 3-point shots to go with a career-high 34 points. Mills was named to the D3hoops.com Team of the Week, becoming the fifth Spartan women’s basketball player to be named under this award. During the game, Mills shot 10-15 (67%) overall and 10-13 (77%) from the 3-point line. She also finished the game with 11 rebounds, 3 steals and 4 blocks. As team captain, Mills has been a great leader and inspiration for all of her teammates.

Against Brandeis on Jan. 27, Mills led the team with 30 points and 10 rebounds. It was a close game, with six ties and 12 lead changes throughout the game. The first half started with first-year guard Emily Plachta making a 3-point shot. However, Brandeis quickly caught up and took their largest lead of the night with 7:32 left in the first quarter after hitting a 3-pointer for the 9-3 advantage. 

In the second quarter, the Spartans held the lead until 5:53, but after Brandeis made a layup that tied the game, each team struggled to take the lead. With 2:22 left in this quarter, Mills made a 3-pointer off an assist from third-year forward Kennedy Boone-Sautter to put the Spartans up one point. However, the Judges scored enough points to take the lead by the end of the first half 26-25 in favor of Brandeis. 

The first half of the third quarter was mostly dominated by Brandeis, but a free throw by third-year guard Sarah Mitchell with 3:11 remaining tied the game. The Spartans eventually took the lead into the fourth quarter. The game remained pretty close, but the Spartans took their largest lead (59-50) of the night with 1:21 left on the clock. With a long minute remaining, the Spartans were able to finish the game with a 67-60 victory after Mills completed two free throws.

The game against the Violets in NYU was equally as exciting. NYU is ranked No. 7 in D3hoops and is considered one of the strongest teams in the NCAA DIII. Despite this, the Spartans played an incredible game and maintained a lead at the end of the first three quarters. Third-year forward Kayla Characklis led the team with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while the team overall shot 37.9% from the field and 33.3% from the field goal range. The game had 10 ties and 11 lead changes. 

After a tight first quarter, and the Spartans up by only one point (13-12), Characklis kicked off the second quarter with a layup to continue the Spartans’ lead. The game was tied with 1:42 left in the quarter, but after second-year forward Lucy Vanderbeck made a 3-point jumper and Characklis made a jump shot, the quarter ended with the Spartans up 32-28. 

The Spartans led for most of the third quarter, with their largest lead of the night at 8:38, putting the score at 36-28. However, the Violets tied the game again with 6:01 left. Though the Spartans had a 3-point lead at the end of the quarter, they struggled to score during the last quarter which ultimately led to a loss. NYU tied the game 59-59 with 4:44 left after the Violets made a jump shot. The Violets went on a 14-3 run to finish the game at 62-73. 

The Spartans will have a rematch against these two teams on home court at Horsburgh Gymnasium on Friday, Feb. 3 against Brandeis at 5:30 pm and on Sunday, Feb. 5 at 2:00 pm against NYU. 

Given the games this past weekend we can expect the upcoming games to be equally as exciting so make sure to come and show your support!