The women’s basketball team came into this weekend looking to bounce back from two straight losses in last week’s Midwest UAA trip. The ‘Jackets (16-2) did just that as they handled visiting Case Western Reserve University and Emory University easily, beating both teams by over 20 points each night.
“We really focused this week in practice on playing team defense?our two wins this weekend are definitely reflective of those efforts,” senior point guard Emily Bango said.
The phrase “stats don’t lie” can aptly be applied to Bango’s statement as the ‘Jackets held Case and Emory to a horrendous 23 percent and 33 percent field goal percentage in each game, respectively, resulting in two blowout wins.
On Friday night, the ‘Jackets hosted the Case Western Spartans, who came into the game with an overall record of 8-8, looking for their first UAA conference win.
UR eliminated any hopes that the Spartans had of an upset as they jumped on the visitors early in the first half and never looked back en route to a 62-41 blowout victory. At one point in the first half, the ‘Jackets went on a 21-0 run and had a 25-6 lead with just over eight minutes left till halftime.
Sophomore forward Helen Baroody provided much of the spark in the early going as she scored all seven of her points during the run, hitting three shots, including one from downtown. Baroody finished the game with seven rebounds, tying two others for the team lead.
The Yellowjackets went into halftime with a very comfortable 40-19 edge. The large margin allowed for Coach Jim Scheible to give his starters some rest and the team’s bench players made very solid contributions.
Senior forward Emily Lyons, a steady post contributor all season, shot a perfect five for five from the field, scoring 12 points in only 12 minutes of action. The Yellowjackets scoring attack was led by forward Alex Porter. The sophomore netted 17 points and also grabbed seven rebounds. Porter is averaging nearly nine points and nine rebounds per game on the season.
An obvious deciding factor in the game was the ‘Jackets overall dominance on the glass, as they doubled the Spartans in that category 48-24. Next up on the UAA schedule would be Emory University.
The Eagles came into the game next to Case at the bottom of the UAA standings, with a record of 1-5 in the league, 7-10 overall.
Unlike Friday night’s game, where the ‘Jackets jumped out to a big lead early, the Eagles kept it close for the majority of the first half and were within reach at halftime, down 32-29.
UR broke out in the second half however, shooting nearly 50 percent from the field (16-33) and won the game easily, 75-52.
Senior point guard Emily Bango turned in a solid overall performance, scoring 11 points, grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out three assists with only one turnover. She leads the team in assists with 85 for the year. Bango’s leadership, along with fellow senior forward Danielle Muller, has been essential to the team’s success all season.
Not to be outdone, Porter matched Bango’s efforts in points and rebounds with 11 and eight, respectively.
For the second game in a row, the ‘Jackets got solid contributions from their bench as they accounted for 35 of the team’s 75 points. Sophomore guard Joanna McNelis found her stroke, netting two of three from downtown on her way to nine points in 18 minutes. McNelis has seen an increase in minutes the last couple weeks due to the injury of fellow sophomore guard Rachel Stern.
“She’s really been a big part of our offense this year,” Bango said, “She’s had to change her role a little bit, and has really met the challenge.”
The Yellowjackets will hit the road this coming weekend, traveling to Atlanta and Cleveland for rematches against Emory and Case. UR is currently tied with Chicago University for second place in the UAA standings with a 5-2 conference record and are ranked No. 8 in the nation.
Brackney is a member of the class of 2007.