Women’s basketball suffers back-to-back losses in second week on conference play

Katie Wieser, Sports Editor

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The Spartans will have to make up some ground in their conference season as the women dropped two straight games over the weekend versus the University of Rochester and Emory University. The team’s overall record now sits at 7-7, 1-2 within the University Athletic Association conference.

The ladies started out strong last Friday, leading the Yellowjackets of Rochester for almost the entire first half. The starting team was firing on all cylinders with three players reaching double figures in points and junior Berit Eppard pulling down 11 rebounds for the team.

The largest lead for the Spartans came at the top of the second half when the ladies led Rochester by a score of 33-20. But the Yellowjackets slowly started their comeback, tying the game at 40-40 with 6:12 left to play. From that point, the teams traded off leads and points with the final tie of 53 points for each team getting broken with six seconds left by Rochester guard Ally Zywicki to drop the Spartans 55-53.

Offensive leaders for the team were Brooke Orcutt and Jessica McCoy who scored 14 points and 11 points, respectively.

Head coach Jennifer Reimer was ready for a tough game versus the highly skilled Rochester squad, but was very pleased with how the Spartans held their own throughout the night. “I’ve been really impressed with the passion we’re playing with and with the fight that we’re showing in our games. Playing Rochester who historically is a very good team and having a chance to win is really great,” Reimer said.

The next challenge for the Spartan team was nationally-ranked Emory University. The Eagles got out to an early lead a minute into the game and didn’t let off for the entire afternoon. The CWRU team showed some strength on the defensive side, despite the challenging up-tempo play of the Emory team. The Spartans held the Eagles to just five points in the first 10 minutes of the second half. They also were on the favorable side of the rebound count, pulling down 44 boards compared to Emory’s 36. They also added four blocked shots on the night.

Laura Mummey and the other offensive leaders put together a few scoring runs to keep things interesting, but were unable to stop the Eagle offense as they went down with a score of 76-52.

Spartan leaders during the game were Mummey who put up 11 points and Eppard who matched her career-high 14 rebounds.

The main area of concern for the team going forward against the tough UAA field is in ball security. The squad has an average of 21.3 turnovers per game against conference opponents and is making just 36 percent of field goals taken. Reimer is looking to improve in this area going forward along with maintaining their high rebound and defensive numbers.

“The experience of playing Emory and having to keep up with an offense that is very up-tempo will help us this weekend and when we see them again later in the season. It was a great experience playing hard and playing well during the weekend, it’s just the results that are kind of unfortunate,” said Reimer.

The team will look to move back up in the UAA standings next weekend as they face off against No. 2 Washington University on Friday and Chicago University on Sunday at home. Both of these teams are very athletic and can be stifling defensively so the Spartans will have to step up to make themselves known in this competitive athletic conference.