Women’s basketball starts season strong, 4–1

The Carnegie Mellon women’s basketball team defeated the visiting Waynesburg College Yellow Jackets 66–52 last Tuesday and began University Athletic Association (UAA) play at home with a loss against the fourth-ranked University of Rochester Yellowjackets 67–56 on Saturday.

The Tartans’ overall record moved to 4–1 and 0–1 in the UAA. The last time the team jump-started the season with such a strong record was in the 2000–01 season.

From tipoff on Tuesday, the Tartans gained an early lead with the help of sophomore forward Jeanette Schilling, whose basket pushed the team to its biggest lead — 28–12 — in the first half. The Tartans had a 30–21 advantage going into halftime.
At the beginning of the second half, the Tartans scored 10 straight points. The Tartans were able to sustain their advantage until the end of the game.

Sophomore forward Ashley Rothwell led the Tartans with 15 points followed by sophomore guard Colleen Light who had 13 points.

Schilling collected nine points and junior guard Leah Feola had eight rebounds. Sophomore point guard Stacie Aleski added five steals for the Tartans.

Going into Saturday’s game, Carnegie Mellon was confident and prepared for the match-up against Rochester. The Tartans were trailing close behind the Yellowjackets but in the 13th minute of the game, Rochester picked up some speed, and gained an eight-point lead at 20–12.

First-year guard Paige Williamson and Rothwell boosted Carnegie Mellon’s morale by scoring two foul shots each, followed by a steal and lay-up from Aleski, and a three-pointer from senior guard Nora Darcher that brought the Tartans the lead 21–20. At halftime, the score was 36–34 in the Tartans’ favor.

Rochester came out strong in the second half and by the 10th minute had a 15-point advantage. The Tartans lagged behind for the rest of the second half and were unable to pull through with a victory.

“We felt confident in our abilities going into the game,” Williamson said. “There was no doubt in our minds that we could win but we came out and missed a couple of shots that we could have made, otherwise we could have easily won. We were not intimidated.”

Rothwell once again led the Tartans with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Light added 17 points and Aleski had seven points and five assists throughout the game.

The Tartans will play next at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pa., on Tuesday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
“Starting the UAA off with Rochester just gave us a preview of the tough competition in the conference and allowed us to realize that we need to be stronger and a consistent offensive threat,” Feola said. “As far as W&J, we are just going to play our game and we’ll be successful.”