First Quarter Blitz Leads Tartans to 93-56 Win Against Allegheny

First Quarter Blitz Leads Tartans to 93-56 Win Against Allegheny

(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) - The Carnegie Mellon Univesity women's basketball team rebounded from an off shooting performance 10 days ago to pull away early from Allegheny College in a 93-56 victory at home on Saturday, December 8. The Tartans move to 7-1 for the season while the Gators drop to 4-5.

Freshman Leah Weslock (Howell, Mich. / Howell) recorded her first career double-double with career highs in points, 18, and rebounds, 10, to lead the Tartans. Fellow freshman Caitlyn Clendenin (Bethesda, Md. / Bethesda Chevy Chase) came off the bench to score 17 points while junior Laurel Pereira (Naperville, Ill. / Naperville North) scored 14 and junior Makayla Filiere (Chandler, Ariz. / Hamilton) scored 13 points to go with six steals. Senior Jenn Mayberger (Chesterfield, Mo. / Cor Jesu Academy) dished out six assists to lead the Tartans who had 20 assists on 37 made baskets.

The Tartans started 6-of-7 from the floor and closed the first quarter shooting 82.4% from the floor, making 14-of-17 attempts to lead 30-11. Allegheny struggled in the period, making just 4-of-21 from the floor, opting for the long range shot against the Tartans and making just 1-of-8. Pereira connected on three of the Tartans first six shots while Clendenin and Filiere scored the final six buckets of the period.

Weslock continued the scoring for the Tartans in the second quarter as the home team scored the first nine points with Weslock accounting for seven. A jumper by Filiere following her own steal gave the Tartans a 33-point lead with 2:21 to play in the first half before Allegheny knocked down two three-pointers to go into the locker room with the Tartans up 51-24.

The Gators switched to a zone defense in the second half which slowed the Tartans who shot 70.6% in the first half to just 33.3% from the floor in the third quarter. However, the Gators weren't any better going 5-of-19 against the Tartans zone. What the Tartans didn't make in the final two periods, they grabbed, pulling down 14 offensive rebounds for 19 second chance points.

The Tartans will next host the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg after finals week on Tuesday, December 18 at 2:00 p.m.

Quoting junior Laurel Pereira
Overall thoughts on how the team responded after a tough game 10 days ago:
"Our biggest goal going into this game was to be as aggressive as possible. In the other game, we let them dictate what was going on and so we knew we wanted to come out full throttle, pushing the pace and taking control."

Allegheny moved from man-to-man to a zone in the second half. How did the team adjust to still find success?
"I think we just tried to stay as aggressive as possible, making quick passes in the zone. In the past we've tended to be a little more passive, usually getting ourselves into trouble. We wanted to keep attacking and look for good quality shots." 

Quoting freshman Leah Weslock
What contributed to your success today?
"The team moved the ball really well today and we played good on defense. We passed the ball well — I think everyone touched it, so we found our open shots."

What was working early on for the team to start 6-of-7 from the field and then transition that to 14-of-17 for the first quarter?
"We came out really focused and playing the way we wanted to play, especially our defense. We were in passing lanes, stole the ball, and got good rebounds. That led to our transition offense - move the ball around and make the shots."