Women’s basketball splits vs Brandeis, NYU at home


John McCormick/The Observer

Third-year guard Sarah Mitchell’s defense keeps NYU at bay during their game on the 5th.

Paola Van der Linden Costello, Staff Writer

The Case Western Reserve University women’s basketball team secured a win against Brandeis University, their second of the season, on Feb. 3 (86-67) but suffered a devastating loss against against No. 7 New York University on Feb. 5 (82-44), leaving them with an overall 13-7 record, 4-5 conference record and No. 6 ranking in the UAA.

Against Brandeis, third-year guard Margaret Terry and third-year forward Kayla Characklis led the game with 16 points, fourth-year forward/guard Isabella Mills had 8 rebounds and Terry had 6 assists. The team shot 25-65 (36.9%) from the field and 13-32 (40.6%) from the 3-point range.

The Judges had their largest lead of the night in the first quarter when they first scored a 3-point jump shot to open the game. First-year guard/forward Emily Plachta closed the gap immediately, tying the game with a 3-pointer of her own. Third-year guard Sarah Mitchell made a layup and got fouled, converting three points to give the Spartans the lead. Despite the Judges’ efforts, they only managed to tie the game twice more but never took the lead. The Spartans held the 20-15 lead at the end of the first quarter following a layup from Terry. 

The Spartans also won the second quarter, finishing the half with a 16-point lead. A defensive rebound by freshman guard Maya Roberts with two seconds left prevented Brandeis from getting any closer to CWRU. During the halftime, CWRU recognized the 50th anniversary of Title IX in women’s sports.

Up 48-32, the Spartans increased their lead by 30 points with a layup by second-year guard Nyah Moore, a jumper from third-year forward/center Preet Gill, a 3-pointer by second-year guard/forward Lucy Vanderbeck, and more. The Spartans took their largest lead of the night at 76-48 with 1:40 remaining in the third quarter after Vanderbeck’s shot. The Judges made a small push to end the quarter, cutting their deficit to 53-78.

In the fourth quarter, CWRU maintained great ball movement and coordination on the court. Fourth-year guard Claire Poulton scored five points and Vanderbeck scored three, ending the game with the Spartans on the top 86-67. 

The story was very different when the Spartans faced the Violets on Sunday afternoon. What started as a close game quickly turned into an uphill battle for the Spartans, one they could not recover from. Mills led the team with 11 points and Mitchell with 3 assists. Overall, the team shot 29.3% from the field and 21.7% from the 3-point line compared to NYU’s 38.9% and 52.2% respectively. 

In the previous match against the Violets, the Spartans put up a good fight, staying ahead in the first three quarters only to lose the lead in the fourth quarter. In this game, they lost the lead after NYU made a layup with 6:46 left in the first quarter and were not able to catch up after that. 

Despite only being down by four by the end of the first quarter, the Violets kept the pressure on the Spartans, who found themselves down by 20 by the half, 33 at the end of the third quarter and ultimately 38 at the end of the game for a final score of 82-44. Averaging 70.8 points per game, this was CWRU’s lowest scoring game of the season.

The Spartans will face the University of Rochester on Friday, Feb. 10 at 5:30 p.m. and Emory University on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 1:00 p.m. in the Horsburgh Gymnasium for their final two home games of the season.