(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) - The Carnegie Mellon University women's basketball team played shot-to-shot with the top team in the University Athletic Association (UAA) Friday night before Washington University in St. Louis was able to finish off a late lead for a 61-58 win. The Tartans are now 10-9 overall and 1-7 in the UAA, while the Bears move to 14-5 and 8-0.
The game came down to the final possession after WashU's Madeline Homoly made the second of two free throw attempts to give the Bears a three-point advantage at 61-58 with five seconds to play. A sideline inbounds play was off for the Tartans who weren't able to hoist up a game-tying attempt before the buzzer resulting in the victory for the Bears.
Both junior Laurel Pereira (Naperville, Ill. / Naperville North) and freshman Leah Weslock (Howell, Mich. / Howell) led the Tartans with 16 points apiece while freshman Caitlyn Clendenin (Bethesda, Md. / Bethesda Chevy Chase) added 11 points. Weslock pulled down nine rebounds to lead Carnegie Mellon with Clendenin grabbing eight. Senior Jenn Mayberger (Chesterfield, Mo. / Cor Jesu Academy) finished with a team-high six assists.
The Tartans led at halftime for the first time in UAA play after Weslock drained her second triple of the half from the top of the key with five seconds on the clock. Pressure on the inbounds pass by Mayberger prevented WashU from getting up the court for a buzzer beater attempt and the Tartans led 28-26 at the break. Three-pointers were the difference in the second period, as the Tartans made 4-of-6 to outscore the Bears, 18-11, for the frame.
The score was even at 40 going into the final 10 minutes of action and was back-and-forth throughout with five lead changes and three ties until the final horn. The final lead change came when Mayberger was called for a foul on Rachel Sondag attempting a three-pointer late in the shot clock with 32 seconds remaining. Sondag made the first two leaving it open for the Tartans to tie it or take the lead on the next possession after Weslock came down with the rebound. Two attempts by the Tartans were missed before Homoly was fouled after a defensive rebound leading to her own aforementioned free throws at the end of the game.
Caroline Ballard led the Bears with 20 points, making all five of the team's long range baskets. Homoly finished with 13 points and seven revounds while Becca Clark-Callender dished out eight assists.
The Tartans will remain at home for their next contest when they host 19th-ranked University of Chicago (15-4, 6-2) on Sunday, February 3 at 2:00 p.m.