(CLEVELAND, Ohio) – A 22-point fourth quarter helped the Carnegie Mellon University women's basketball team rally from a seven-point deficit to top Case Western Reserve University, 72-65, in University Athletic Association (UAA) road action Saturday afternoon. In the win, senior Lisa Murphy (McLean, Va./McLean) tied the UAA record for rebounds with 24 and set a new offensive rebounding record with 12.
Murphy's career rebounding afternoon included 34 points, 12 of which she scored in the fourth quarter during the Tartans' rally. The senior finished the afternoon making 13-of-15 from the field and 8-of-10 from the free throw line to finish the UAA season with a record 77.2% effort from the field in the 14 league games. Joining Murphy in double figures for the day was a pair of freshmen with 11 points each, Katharine Higgins (Montclair, N.J./Montclair) and Makayla Filiere (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton).
The Tartans held a 16-12 lead at the end of the first quarter after scoring the last five in the final 18 seconds on a baseline jumper by freshman Dominique Petach (Pittsburgh, Pa./Norwin) and a three-pointer by Filiere at the buzzer. The Tartans spread the ball around assisting on six of their seven baskets and did work on the glass hauling down 15 boards to eight for CWRU. Murphy led with 10 rebounds.
Jess McCoy's second jumper of the second quarter gave the Spartans back the lead at 21-20 and a three-pointer on the next possession by Kara Hageman closed a 9-0 run for the home team, giving CWRU their largest lead of the game at 24-20 with 4:15 to play in the half.
The Tartans tied it at 24-24 with a string of free throws, but CWRU answered with a shot from behind the arc and led by five before Filiere hit a jumper to cut the deficit to 33-30 heading into the locker room.
The Spartans made 5-of-11 from long range in the second quarter and eight for the half while the Tartans cooled down from the field in the second quarter to finish the half shooting 37.5% compared to 43.8% through the first 10 minutes.
A 10-2 run by the Spartans to open the third quarter pushed the home team's lead to 43-32 with 2:11 gone by. An 8-1 run sparked by a Jackie Hudepohl (Saratoga, Calif./Lynbrook (Colgate)) three-pointer pulled the Tartans to within three, 46-43, but another three-pointer was the answer for the Spartans, as Hageman hit the shot again.
The Spartans held the lead until 3:19 to go in the game when Murphy put in her 10th point of the quarter to give Carnegie Mellon a 64-63 lead. After a layup by Hageman, Murphy scored again to give the Tartans the lead for good as they hit 6-of-8 from the free throw line in the last minute to earn the comeback win.
McCoy finished her final game with 18 points for the Spartans while Hageman tallied 12 and Alicia Marie Gonzales 11. The Tartans cruised to a 54-26 dominance on the glass which included 18 on the offensive end for 23 second-chance points. The Tartans also finished the game shooting 40.7% to 36.4% for the Spartans.
The Tartans postseason fate is now in the hands of the NCAA selection committee as they'll wait to see if they receive an at-large bid for the second straight season. The announcement will be made Monday afternoon.