(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – The Carnegie Mellon University women's basketball team played The College of Wooster in the opening round of the 2018 Marriott Columbus Airport Holiday Tournament hosted by Capital University on Friday evening and advanced to the championship game on Saturday with a 79-63 win over the Fighting Scots. The Tartans move to 9-1 while the Fighting Scots are now 4-7.
The Tartans held the Fighting Scots to 25.7% (19-74) from the floor while the Cardinal and Gray shot 40.7% (22-54). The Tartans converted 29-of-36 (80.6%) from the foul line with Wooster making 21-of-30 (70.0%) from the line. It marked the most free throws made and attempted for the Tartans since February 12, 2016 when the Cardinal and Gray were 39-of-48 from the line in a 93-90 win at Chicago.
Freshman Caitlyn Clendenin (Bethesda, Md./Bethesda Chevy Chase) led Carnegie Mellon with a season-best 20 points. The freshman converted 6-of-10 from the floor and 8-of-10 from the charity stripe. Freshman Emily Archer (Chatham, N.J./Oak Knoll) was a perfect 6-og-6 from the foul line and finished with 12 points while junior Katie Higgins (Montclair, N.J.) tallied 11 points in the win after converting 4-of-5 from the floor including a season-best 3-of-4 from long range.
Carnegie Mellon started the game missing its first nine shots from the floor, as Wooster built an 8-2 lead. The Tartans only points over the first five minutes came from the free throw line. Carnegie Mellon used an 11-2 run over the next three minutes to take its first lead of the game and ended the first quarter converting 5-of-7 from the floor, as the Tartans led 19-14 at the first break.
A three-pointer by senior Jenn Mayberger (Chesterfield, Mo./Cor Jesu Academy) to start the second frame pushed the Tartans lead to 22-14 and extended the run to 20-6 over a span of 5:28. With the Tartans leading 26-20 midway through the second quarter, Wooster used a 10-3 run over a three minute span to regain the lead at 30-29 with 1:57 to play in the half. Carnegie Mellon then closed the half with baskets from freshman Leah Weslock (Howell, Mich.) and Clendenin to lead 33-30 at the half.
Wooster scored the first six points of the third quarter before a trey by Pereira ignited a 15-1 run for the Tartans, as the Cardinal and Gray led 48-37 with four minutes to play. The run expanded to 26-8 with Carnegie Mellon taking a 59-44 lead into the fourth quarter after a Fighting Scot triple as time expired.
The Fighting Scots opened the fourth quarter like they did the third, but this time scored the first eight points of the frame and cut the Tartans lead to 59-52 with 7:16 to play. Carnegie Mellon once again responded and scored 10 straight points, with four different players scoring, to push its lead back to double figures at 69-52. The Tartans kept the lead by double-digits the remainder of the game and went on for the 79-63 victory.
Carnegie Mellon will play the host Crusaders at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, December 29, in the championship game of the Capital/Marriott Columbus Airport Holiday Tournament.