2017 opened with an array of upsets across the D3 Women's Basketball landscape, including the first loss of the season for a couple formerly undefeated teams. We also saw some impressive offensive performances, so take a look at some of the action below:
The Maroons improved to 8-4 overall and started off University Athletic Association play at 1-0, while the Bears were handed their first loss of the season and now hold an overall 10-1 record, and 0-1 in the UAA.
— WashU Bears (@WASHUBears) January 7, 2017
Coming into the game, the Bears held one of the most potent and efficient offenses in D3, ranking eighth nationally in scoring (80.6 PPG) and fifth in field-goal percentage (.467). They also won their previous 10 games by an average margin of 21.6 points.
UChicago went toe-to-toe with WashU all game. Freshman forward Taylor Lake and senior forward Britta Nordstrom combined to score the team's opening eight points.
With just two minutes to play, while clinging to a 68-66 lead, the Maroon defense stepped up in the clutch to deny scoring opportunities and they capitalized on their free throw opportunities – sinking 7-of-8 free throws in the final 87 seconds of the game. The last key stop occurred with 20 seconds left, when freshman guard Miranda Burt stole an inbounds pass to end the Bears threat.
The win marks the second-straight for the Maroons against a nationally-ranked Bears squad, including last year's season finale (82-70). UChicago shot 44.3 percent from the field and 42.1 percent from beyond the arc (8-19), in contrast to WashU shooting 40.0 percent overall and just 26.7 percent from deep (4-15). Turnovers were even at 16 for each side, with a 38-37 home edge in rebounds.
Lake's 23 points were a new career high. The team's balanced attack featured 14 points from Burt and Nordstrom, as well as 13 points by Obi. Nordstrom posted a double-double with 12 rebounds.
Illinois Wesleyan topples Wheaton
The Titans let a 55-46 lead with 8:52 to play in the game slip away while the Thunder went on a 14-4 run to move ahead with a 64-59 lead with 1:46 to play. A basket by sophomore Maddie Merritt, at 1:32, two free throws by junior Molly McGraw at :42 and the trey from Kelly got the Titans seven points while the Thunder got only a free throw by Chantel Meacham in the final 1:46.
McGraw led the scoring effort with 23 points, converting 9-of-10 from the free throw line Merritt added 21 points and pulled down seven rebounds. The Titans were led in rebounding with 10 from junior Rebekah Ehresman, who suffered a right leg injury and missed the final 4:30 of the game.
The Titans improved to 8-5 overall while the Thunder slipped to 9-3. Both teams are 3-1 in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin.
Case Western hands Carnegie Mellon first loss
Case Western Reserve sophomore Hillary Hellmann scored 31 of her career-high 35 points in the second half to lead the Spartans to their biggest win of the season thus far, an 87-78 upset win at Carnegie Mellon in the opening game of University Athletic Association play on Saturday.
CWRU Women's Basketball Upsets #10 CMU 87-78 in UAA Opener https://t.co/4sY4CQ1jv7
— CWRU Spartans (@caseathletics) January 7, 2017
The win was the Spartans' first of the season against a ranked opponent, improving to 9-3 overall. Case Western dealt Carnegie Mellon its first setback of the campaign and its first loss in its last 14 regular season games (dating back to last season), as the Tartans dropped to 11-1 on the year.
Hellmann shot 12-of-21 from the field, and surpassed her previous career-high of 31 points, set earlier this season in a win over John Carroll. It was the most points scored in a game by a Spartan player since 2013. Hellmann went six-for-nine from three-point land, tying her career-best mark for made threes in a game, and added six rebounds and four steals in the game.
DePasquale Nets Seven Treys – Plattsburgh tops Buffalo State
Plattsburgh sophomore guard Bella DePasquale netted a career-high 24 points off 8-of-13 shooting from the floor and 7-of-11 shooting from 3-point range, leading the Cardinals to an 86-60 victory over Buffalo State in State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) action.
DePasquale Nets Seven 3-Pointers, 24 Points in Women's Basketball's 86-60 Win over Buffalo State https://t.co/m05dnEG7sA
— Cardinal Athletics (@PburghCardinals) January 8, 2017
DePasquale was on fire from three-point land, converting 5-of-7 3-pointers in the first half before adding two more triples for good measure in the final 20 minutes of play.
Along with DePasquale's performance, senior guard Moe Jones and freshman forward Frannie Merkel scored 18 and 11 points, respectively, while sophomore guard Anna Thompson netted 10 points in 18 minutes coming off the bench. Merkel completed the double-double with 11 rebounds.
DePauw wins 11th straight
DePauw trailed by as many as five in the third period, but in the final 15 minutes the Tigers outscored visiting Kenyon 35-17 to take a 68-55 North Coast Athletic Conference win. The Tigers improved to 14-1 overall and 6-0 in the NCAC with their 11th straight win.
The teams battled through a tight first half that included nine ties and four lead changes with Kenyon taking a 29-26 lead into the intermission. Neither team held larger than a four-point lead as Kenyon shot 44.4 percent from the field to the Tigers' 27.6 percent.
— DePauw Tigers (@DePauwAthletics) January 7, 2017
Kenyon's Ifeoma Archimalo opened the fourth with a three-point play before the teams exchanged baskets to make it 54-52 in favor of the hosts. Maya Howard hit two free throws and a jumper to start a 13-0 run that gave the Tigers a 67-52 advantage with 2:31 left and sealed the victory.
Maya Howard led the Tigers with 19 points, while Claire Ryan added 17 and three steals. Taylor Howard, Ryan and Sydney Kopp each grabbed seven rebounds, while Taylor Howard dished out four assists.
DePauw shot 36.4 percent for the game to Kenyon's 37.0, but the Tigers outscored Kenyon from the line, 25-6. The Tigers committed just 11 turnovers to Kenyon's 16 and held a 16-3 edge in points off of turnovers.