CLEVELAND – Senior guard Evy Iacono (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mount Notre Dame) scored a game-high 23 points, and the Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team withstood a potential winning shot at the buzzer to defeat cross-town rival Baldwin Wallace University, 65-63, in the 2012-13 home opener on Tuesday evening inside Horsburgh Gymnasium.
The Spartans stay perfect at 3-0 overall heading into the University Athletic Association/North Coast Athletic Conference Challenge this weekend in central Ohio. With the loss, the Yellow Jackets drop to 2-1.
Iacono's 21 points were accompanied by a game-high eight assists and five rebounds. Sophomore forward Berit Eppard (Englewood, Colo./Cherry Creek) and sophomore guard Brooke Orcutt (Morrison, Colo./Dakota Ridge) also scored in double-figures with 14 and 12 points, respectively, while freshman forward Laura Mummey (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson) totaled eight points, six rebounds and four blocked shots.
In the first half, the game was tied at 5-5 before the Yellow Jackets scored eight in a row and moved ahead 13-5 on an Alissa Munro layup at the 15:16 mark. The Spartans then responded with a 7-0 run of their own and pulled to within one, at 13-12, when senior center Emily Mueller (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair) hit a layup at 13:18.
Case later grabbed its first lead at 18-16 on an Iacono jumper at 11:41, and the advantage ballooned to 10 when senior point guard Erica Iafelice (North Canton, Ohio/Hoover) made the score 37-27 with a three-pointer at 5:19. From there, BW tightened on defense and rallied with a 10-0 run to tie the score as Jessica Lairson scored on a layup with 1:41 left before the break. The two sides exchanged buckets in the final minute and the score was tied at 41-41 at halftime.
The opening minutes of the second half were tightly contested, but Case built a five-point edge at 53-48 after an Orcutt layup with 9:57 left to play. That advantage grew to six, 57-51, with 7:31 remaining, but BW came back with a 5-0 run and pulled to within one following a Rachel Rossman triple at the 5:00 mark.
The Yellow Jackets then tied the score and moved ahead 63-60 as Munro canned back-to-back three-pointers at 2:40 and 2:02. Undaunted, Case held the visitors without a point the rest of the way and picked up a layup from Mummey at 1:32 and a jumper from Mueller at 00:41 to regain the advantage. BW had one last chance at the buzzer, but a well-defended three-point attempt by Munro was no good.
BW was led by Munro and Lexi Rohrbach with 14 points apiece.
The Spartans open the UAA/NCAC Challenge on Saturday, November 24 at Kenyon College at 2:00 p.m. Case then travels to Denison University for a 2:00 p.m. game on Sunday, Nov. 25.