The Case Western Reserve University women's basketball team will open its 2017-18 campaign this week, when the team plays host to Denison University at Horsburgh Gymnasium in Cleveland, Ohio on Wednesday, November 15th at 7:30 p.m., and the makes the trip across town to face John Carroll University at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 18th.
Wednesday, November 15 vs. Denison
Live Stats: http://athletics.case.edu/sports/wbkb/2017-18/boxscores/20171115_6m0n.xml
Saturday, November 18 at John Carroll
Live Stats: http://www.sidearmstats.com/jcu/wbball/
Case Western Reserve will be looking to build on a 13-12 campaign last season, that included a record of 5-6 at home and 8-6 in all games away from Horsburgh Gymnasium. The team averaged 74.4 points per game last year on 42.6% shooting from the floor, including a 34.3% mark from beyond the arc. Junior guard/forward Hillary Hellmann is among the team's eight veteran players, returning after averaging 17.5 points per game and leading all Division III players with a 47.4% mark from three-point range. Senior forward Kara Hageman averaged a team-best 20.1 points per game and 6.3 rebounds last year.
The Spartans are led by Head Coach Jennifer Reimer, who will begin the season tied for the program record for career victories. She will enter her 11th season at CWRU with 120 wins with the program, and has a career record of 277-231 (.545) over her 21 years as a collegiate head coach. Reimer is assisted by Brooke Orcutt and Erin Gdaniec.
Denison Big Red
Denison will be opening its 2017-18 campaign on Wednesday as well, after a 14-14 season last year, including a 5-8 record in road games. The Big Red are slated to return 12 players who saw action last season, including sophomore guard Alison Schafer (8.4 ppg) and junior guard Valesha Province (5.8 ppg), but will be losing their top player from last year in post Jordan Holmes (12.8 ppg, 15.3 rpg, 5.7 bpg). As a team, Denison outscored its opponents 53.0 to 51.9 last year, while shooting 36.3% from the floor and 25.9% from long range, with a -4.3 turnover margin.
Denison is led by Head Coach Sara Lee, who will be starting her 29th season at the program's helm and holds a career record of 444-319, which includes one year at Lake Erie College. She is assisted by Kayla Gordon, Mike Workman and Craig White.
Wednesday's game will be the 41st matchup all-time between the two teams, with the series split evenly at 20-20. Last year, the two teams met in Granville, Ohio, with the Spartans coming away with a 63-48 win over the Big Red. Kara Hageman led the Spartans with 20 points in the game, adding six rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals, while Hillary Hellmann finished with 18 points in the game. The Spartans recorded 16 steals as a team during the game.
John Carroll Blue Streaks
John Carroll went 7-18 in 2016-17, including a 6-6 record at home, and will open their 2017-18 campaign on Wednesday at La Roche College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania before hosting the Spartans on Saturday. The Blue Streaks averaged 65.8 points per game and allowed 73.7, while shooting 35.4% from the floor and 29.2% from three-point territory last year. The team is scheduled to return four players who saw time on the court last year, including junior forward Chelbi Graham (7.1 pgg, 6.2 rpg) and sophomore guard Sarah Sprecher 6.0 ppg).
John Carroll is coached by Kelly Morrone, who is entering her fifth season with the team, and has a career record of 64-41. She is assisted by Sherrie Session and Emily Taylor.
Case Western Reserve is 11-17 all-time against John Carroll, in a series that first began in 1973-74. Last year, the Spartans bested the Blue Streaks 95-87, behind a then-career best 31 points from Hillary Hellmann, including a six-of-nine performance from long range, including five threes on eight possessions during a stretch in the third quarter.
This is the second-straight season the Spartans will open at home… Case Western Reserve is 5-5 in season-openers under Reimer, and 20-25 overall in the program's history… The team has won five of its last seven season-opening games… The Spartans are 6-3 in their last nine home-opening games… Hillary Hellmann will begin the year ranked 11th in school history with 119 made three pointers, and is 60 behind the program's career record of 179, currently held by both Evy Iacono (2009-13) and Jasmine Rowan (2000-04)… She needs 231 points this season to become the 15th player in program to reach the 1,000-point mark for her career… Hellmann also set a program record last year for made three pointers in a season with 73… Kara Hageman currently ranks 11th in school history with 1,034 points.