Women's basketball falls to 1–5 with 59–46 road loss to Rochester
Off to a disappointing 1–4 start, the Carnegie Mellon women’s basketball team traveled to Rochester, New York Saturday afternoon with the hopes of righting the ship in their University Athletic Association opener. But, overwhelmed by the Yellowjackets’ superior size and experience, the Tartans fell 59–46 in a game that was never really in jeopardy.
The young Tartans got off to a good start, building a 13–5 lead with 6:35 left to play in the first half. Though their lead quickly evaporated, Carnegie Mellon was able to take a 21–20 advantage into halftime, largely behind the playmaking of freshman Rachelle Roll who finished with a career-high 16 points and three assists, and was the team’s lone consistent ballhandler.
In the second half, the lead continued to change hands early on until the Yellowjackets (5–1, 1–0) took the game over for good with a lay-up by Alex Porter that made it 33–32 with 14:35 left to go in the game. The Tartans cut the lead down to 52–46 when Colleen Light found Ashley Rothwell for a score with 2:42 remaining, but the Tartans could get no closer.
The duo of Roll and Jeanette Schilling led the way for the Tartans. Coming off the bench, Schilling posted a career-high 12 points and eight rebounds in
15 minutes of play while Roll went 8–8 from the free throw line and pulled down 6 rebounds.
The story of the game, though, was the Tartans’ failure to hold onto the basketball. In what is becoming the team’s Achille’s heel, they turned the ball over 25 times, often at rally-killing moments. Moreover, the Tartans failed to offer any pressure of their own, and managed to cause just 14 turnovers. First-year Gemma Easterling said of the team’s timid reaction to the Yellowjackets’ high-intensity defense: “I would say everyone played hard in the game, but we needed to play a little more aggressive.”
Adding to Carnegie’s struggles was a tepid shooting performance that left the offense out of sorts. The Tartans connected on just 30 percent of their fieldgoals, including less than one fourth of their three-point attempts; and only Roll, Schilling and sophomore Ashley Mazziota shot better than 50 percent for the game.
Still, the Tartans are not ready to give up on the season yet. “The season’s early and we have a pretty young team,” said Easterling, “so I feel that with time, we’ll gel more as a team and as things come together we will produce a lot more wins and go into the post season well prepared.”
After five straight away games to start the season, the women’s basketball team will finally come to Carnegie Mellon for their home opener against Grove City College on Tuesday, December 6. The game is scheduled to be a 6 pm start at Skibo Gymnasium and will be followed by a men’s game.